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Full text of "CMH Pub 2-1 The Organization Of Ground Combat Troops"

UNITED STATES ARMY IN WORLD WAR II 



The Army Ground Forces 



THE ORGANIZATION OF 
GROUND COMBAT TROOPS 



m^TED STAtm ARMY 
WASHINGTON, D.a, 1987 



Library of Congress Catalog Card Number: 50-14024 



. . . to Tbpse Wfeo Served 



Foreword 



The conflict with the Axis Powers confronted the United States Army with 
problems on a scale never faced before— problems as great in administration, train- 
ing, supply, and logistics as in strategy and tactics. The United States Army in 
World War II sets forth in detail the nature of the problems faced, the methods 
used to solve them, and the mistakes made as well as the success achieved. The 
object is to provide a work of reference for military and civilian students as well 
as a record of achievements which deserve an honorable place in the pages of 
history. Its value to the thoughtful citizen as an aid to his comprehension of 
basic problems of national security has been a major consideration. Its prepara- 
tion has also been prompted by the thought that in a faithful and comprehen- 
sive record all who participated in the Army's vast effort would find a recognition 
merited by their service and sacrifice. 

The advantage to the Army and the scholar has been the decisive factor in 
proceeding with the least possible delay to the publication of such a series. No 
claim is made that it constitutes a final, history. Many years will pass before the 
record of the war can be fully analyzed and appraised. In presenting an organiz- 
ed and documented narrative at this time, the Historical Division of the War 
Department has sought to furnish the War Department and the Army schools 
an early account of the experience acquired, and to stimulate further research 
by providing scholars with a guide to the mountainous accumulation of records 
produced by the war. 

The decision to prepare a comprehensive account of military activities was 
made early in the war. Trained historians were assigned to the larger units of 
the Army and War Department to initiate the work of research, analysis, and 
writing. The results of their work, supplemented by additional research in records 
not readily available during the war, are presented in this series. The general 
plan provides for a division into subseries dealing with the War Department, 
the Army Air, Ground, and Service Forces, the technical services, and the theaters 
of operations. This division conforms to the organization of the Army during 
World War II and, though involving some overlapping in subject matter, has 
the advantage of presenting a systematic account of developments in each major 



V 



field of responsibility as well as the points of view of the particular commands. 
The plan also includes volumes on such topics as statistics, order of battle, military 
training, the Women's Army Corps, and other subjects that transcend the limits 

of studies focused on an agency or command. The whole project is oriented toward 
and eventual summary and synthesis. 

The studies in this volume were written during the war in the Historical 
Section of Headquarters, Army Ground Forces, where the authors had free ac- 
cess to the records and experience of the command. The Historical Division of 
the War Department has confined material changes to such additions of infor- 
mation, approved by the authors, as seemed necessary to round out the picture 
presented. The full and frank presentation of the wartime point of view of the 
Army Ground Forces, which has not been affected by the changes made, is regard- 
ed as one of the most valuable features of this particular series of studies. 



E. FORKEST HARDING 
Major General, U.S.A. 

Washington, D, C. Chief, Historical Division 

1 July 1946 War Department Special Staff 



VI 



Preface 



The series of historical studies of the Army Ground Forces, 1942-45, of 
which the present volume is the first to be published, was prepared during the 
course of the war or immediately thereafter on the responsibility of the Com- 
manding General, Army Ground Forces/ The headquarters studies in the 
series were written by professional historians, of whom three were officers of 
the Army of the United States and one a civiUan. These historians were mem- 
bers of a historical office of Headquarters, Army Ground Forces, at first a part 
of the G-2 Section, but on 25 June 1943 organized as a separate Historical Sec- 
tion. Histories of subordinate commands were prepared under the supervision 
of this Section by a historical officer in each command, who, except in the 
Second Army, acted as such in addition to other duties. 

The studies were designed primarily for the use of the Army and were 
planned to be completed by the time the Army Ground Forces had discharged 
its war mission or shortly thereafter. Their object is to state not only what was 
done, but also why and how the actions recorded were taken and what lessons 
were learned. The judgments expressed are those of the officers concerned, not 
those of the historical officers. The function conceived as proper for the his- 
torical officers was to find and state the facts which seemed to have a bearing 
on the major problems that faced the Army Ground Forces, in the belief that 
in this context of facts the decisions of its commanders and the consequences 
of these decisions could be best understood. 

In general, effort was concentrated on doing what could probably not be 
done as well, if at all, after the war. Concretely, this meant exploiting the 
advantage of access to the records while these were being made, and of access 
to the officers of the conmiand while the problems they faced and the solutions 
proposed were in the foreground of their thought and interest. The subjects 
chosen for intensive study comprised the major activities of the Army Ground 
Forces and the major problems which it faced in organizing, equipping, and 

* Established by WD Itr AG 210.31 (6-26-42) MR-F-PS-M, 15 July 42, sub: Appointment of 
Historical Officers. 



vii 



training the ground forces for combat. Inevitably this choice made the survey 
primarily a history of high command and not of tactical units. 

The present volume consists of six studies dealing with basic organizational 
problems of the ground forces. The first study concerns the antecedents of the 
Army Ground Forces, during the years 1940-42, as represented by General 
Headquarters, U. S. Army, from which the Army Groimd Forces and its 
policies in respect to the organization and training of the ground troops 
developed. Given the limited objective inherent in the mission of the authors 
as members of the Historical Section, Army Ground Forces, the study of 
General Headquarters is not an exhaustive treatise on that organization, but 
emphasizes its exercise of those functions and activities which were later assumed 
by the Army Ground Forces, Nevertheless, such subjects as the activities of GHQ 
in planning and directing operations and the steps involving GHQ which led to 
the reorganization of the Army high command in March 1942 are included, not 
only to round out the picture, but also to contribute to the understanding of larger 
questions the information found in the records of GHQ. 

The next four studies in this volume give an account of the principal prob- 
lems and decisions of the Army Ground Forces regarding the size, internal 
organization, and armament of the ground troops deployed in World War 11. 
The last study explains the part played by the Army Ground Forces in the rede- 
ployment and reorganization of the ground forces for the final assault against 
Japan. 

The point of view represented in the studies is that of General Headquarters 
and of the Army Ground Forces, and only their decisions are fully documented. 
In general, research was carried beyond the records of these two organizations 
only so far as seemed necessary to explain their views and decisions. No effort 
was made to explore facts not known to them at the time when action was 
recommended or taken. It is recognized that a knowledge of other facts and 
circumstances is necessary for a balanced judgment of their recommendations 
and decisions, a knowledge which will be attainable only when the history of 
the war, and of the part played by the War Department and the U. S. Army in 
winning it, has been written. 

The study of General Headquarters was written by the undersigned and 
by Dr. Robert R. Palmer, now Professor of History in Princeton University. 
In its preparation helpful, in some instances invaluable, information or criti- 
cism was obtained from Maj. Gen. H. }. Malony, Maj. Gen. C. L. Bolte, Maj. 



Vlll 



Gen. C. L. Hyssong, Maj. Gen, F. A. Keating, Maj. Gen. A, R. Boiling, Maj. 
Gen. F. L. Parks, Maj. Gen. W. F. Dean, Brig. Gen. J, M* Lcntz, Brig. Gen. 
P, McD. Robinett, Brig. Gen. W. G. Walker, Brig. Gen. J. S. Winn, Jr., Brig. 
Gen. R. F. Ennis, CoL J. W. Wurts, Lt. Col. George Seleno, and Maj. K, W. 
Hcchler, 

The second, third, fourth, and fifth studies of this volume were prepared 
by Dr, Palmer, and the sixth study by Maj. Bell I. Wiley, now Professor of 
History in Louisiana State University. All were prepared with the advice and 
collaboration of officers of the Army Ground Forces. Materials obtained from 
records and interviews in Washington were supplemented by observations in 
the field. The officers consulted furnished in many cases oral information on 
points not fully covered in the records. Special acknowledgment is due the 
officers of the Mobilization Division of the G-3 Section and the Organization 
Division of the Requirements Section for their collaboration in connection with 
this volume. Mrs, Ida M. Elmquist, Administrative Assistant to the Chief of the 
Organization Division, gave most helpful assistance in finding necessary data in 
the files of that Division. The following officers gave particularly valuable infor- 
mation on one or more of the studies: Maj. Gen. J. G. Christiansen, Chief of 
Staff, Army Ground Forces; Col. H. T. Todd, Chief, and Lt. Col. W. W. John- 
son, Lt. CoL J. W. H. Lusby, Lt. Col. W. G. Bartlett, and Lt. CoL J. M. Cum- 
mins, Jr., members of the Mobilization Division, G-3 Section; CoL L. H. 
Frasier, Chief of the Organization Division, Requirements Section, and CoL 
J. S. Sauer, his Executive Officer; Lt. CoL John Lemp and Lt. CoL Forsyth 
Bacon, Special Projects Division, G-3; Brig, Gen. A, W. Waldron, Chief of the 
Requirements Section; Brig. Gen. A. D. Warnock, Assistant Division Com- 
mander, 5th Infantry Division; CoL S. L. Weld, Mobilization Division, G-3 
Section; CoL A. L, Harding, Operations Branch, G-3 Section; CoL L. H. 
Schradcr, G-3 Section, CoL P. J. Kopcsak, Personal Affairs Division, G-i Sec- 
tion; Col. W. M. Breckinridge, Commanding Officer, loth Regiment, 5th 
Infantry Division; Lt, CoL M, F. Brennan, Training Division, G-3 Section; 
Lt. CoL J. A. Hanson, Task Force Division, G-4 Section; Lt. Col. G, T. Petersen, 
Ordnance Section; Lt, CoL J. U. Parker, Control Division, G-3 Section; Lt. CoL 
M, L. Rosen, Assistant Ground Liaison Officer, New York Port of Embarkation, 

The photographs included in the volume were taken by the U. S. Army 
Signal Corps, except that opposite page 42, which was kindly furnished by 
Representative Thomas E. Martin, 



ix 



At the end of the volume, certain aids to the reader have been added: a 
glossary covering numerous abbreviations appearing in the text; a footnote 
guide explaining the system of documentation employed; and a bibliographical 
note to guide future students of the problems treated in the studies through the 
archival materials which have been used. For the benefit of the general reader 
it may be stated that ''G-i," "0-2/' and "G-4" have been used to desig- 

nate staff sections as follows: G-i, personnel; G-2, intelligence; G-3, operations 
wnd training; and G-4, supply. 



KENT ROBERTS GREENFIELD 
Lieutenant Colonel, Infantry 
Washington, D. C. Chief, Historical Section 

I April 1946 Headquarters, Army Ground Forces 



X 



Contents 



Studies tap 

ORIGINS OF THE ARMY GROUND FORCES: 
GENERAL HEADQUARTERS, UNITED 

STATES ARMY, 1940-42 xiii 

GROUND FORCES IN THE ARMY, DECEMBER 

1941-APRIL 1945: A STATISTICAL STUDY. .... 159 

MOBILIZATION OF THE GROUND ARMY 185 

REORGANIZATION OF GROUND TROOPS 

FOR COMBAT 261 

ORGANIZATION AND TRAINING OF NEW 

GROUND COMBAT ELEMENTS 383 

REORGANIZING FOR REDEPLOYMENT 435 

Glossary of Abbreviations 505 

Guide to Footnotes 507 

Bibliographical Note 510 

Index 519 



xi 



Origins of the Army Ground Forces: 
General Headquarters 

United States Army, 1940-42 



by 



Kent Roberts Greenfield and Robert R. Palmer 



Contents 



1. THE DEVELOPMENT OF GENERAL HEADQUARTERS, UNITED 

STATES ARMY 1 

OTgani%ation of the Military Establishment in 1940 1 

GHH in the Mobilisation Plan of 1940-42 5 

Separation of the Field Armies from the Corps Areas 6 

Training Tasks of GHQ 9 

The GHQ Staff 12 

GHQ as a Training Division of the General Staff 13 

Expansion of the Functions and Authority of GHQ, 3 July 1941 15 

Planning Activities 20 

Command Problems 22 

Expansion and Reorganisation of the GHQ Staff 24 

GHQ Activities 26 

The Split within GHQ between Training Functions and Operational 

Functions 30 

IL THE ADMINISTRATION OF TRAINING 32 

Authority of GHQ over Training 32 

State of Training in August 1940 33 

Preparation for the Citizen Army 34 

General Proficiency versus Specialism in the New Army 38 

Large-Unit Training and Testing 40 

GHQ-Directed Army Maneuvers, 1941 43 

Morale 47 

Leadership — the Officer Problem 48 

Reemphasis on Essentials 51 

War Plans for the Creation of New Divisions 51 

Summary of Training Principles under GHQ 55 

III. GHQ AND THE ARMORED FORCE 56 

Establishment of the Armored Force 56 

Relation of GHQ to the Armored Force 58 

Training Directives and Aianeuvers 58 

Organisational Problems 61 

Status of the Armored Force 68 



XV 



Page 



IV. GHQ AND TANK DESTROYER ELEMENTS 73 

Views at GHQ on Antitank Measures 74 

Delay in Preparing Antitank Measures 75 

Creation of the Planning Branch, G^3, WDGS 78 

Creation of the Provisional Antitank Battalions 78 

The Antitank Conference of July 1941 79 

Testing of Antitank Weapons in GHQ-Directed Maneuvers 80 

Progressive Acceptance of Principles Favored at GHQ 81 

The Tank Destroyer Center and the Tank Destroyer Battalions 82 

V, THE RELATION OF GHQ TO AMPHIBIOUS TRAINING .... 85 

The Role of GHQ 86 

The Amphibious Force, Atlantic Fleet 87 

Training on the Pacific Coast 90 

An Army Amphibious Training Center Projected 90 

VI. THE ROLE OF GHQ IN THE DEVELOPMENT OF AIRBORNE 

TRAINING 93 

The Transport Shortage and its Effects on Organisation and Training . . 94 

Airborne Elements in the GHQ-Directed Maneuvers, 1941 95 

Projects for Further Development of Airborne Troops 9^ 

VIL GHQ AND THE DEVELOPMENT OF AIR-SUPPORT TRAINING 

AND DOCTRINE 99 

Responsibilities of GHQ for Air and Air-Ground Training 99 

Basic Problems in Combined Air-Ground Training 101 

Observation Aviation 102 

The Problem of Air-Support Tests, 1940-41 102 

Execution of Air-Support Tests, February-June 1941 106 

The Air-Support Commands and the 1941 Maneuvers 107 

Aviation in the 1941 Maneuvers 109 

Disagreements over Air-Ground Command Relations 110 

FM 3i-35, Aviation in Support of Ground Forces 113 

VIIL GHQ AND THE DEFENSE COMMANDS IN THE CONTINENTAL 

UNITED STATES . 115 

The Role of GHQ in Planning the Defense of the United States 115 

The Principle of Territorial Command Unity and the Air Problem .... 116 

Creation of the Four Defense Commands 119 

Coordination of Antiaircraft Weapons and Pursuit Aviation 123 

Reluctance of Air to Accept Command over Ground Forces 125 

xvi 



Page 

IX. FAILURE TO DEVELOP THE PLANS OF 1921 128 

The Outlook of GHQ on its Mission 130 

Limited Powers of GHQ as a Planning and Operational Headquarters . . 131 

Problems of Incomplete Tactical Control 132 

The Air Problem 134 

Measures Taken to Improve the Position of GHQ 141 

X. THE DISSOLUTION OF GHQ AND THE ESTABLISHMENT OF 

ARMY GROUND FORCES 143 

Reform of GHQ versus Reorganisation of the War Department 143 

The Point of View at GHQ on Reorganisation 144 

Basic Problems Encountered in the Attempt to Strengthen GHQ, August^ 

November 1941 146 

Development of the War Department Reorganisation Plan, November 

mi-March 1942 148 

Summary 153 

ROSTER OF GENERAL STAFF AND SPECIAL STAFF, GHQ, 1941-42 . . 156 



Charts 

1. Organization of the War Department, June 1941 14 

2. GHQ in the Chain of Command after 3 July 1941 18 

3. Organization of GHQ after 3 July 1941 28 

4. Defense Commands Established 17 March 1941 118 

5. Organization Plan for Field Forces, 28 April 1941 120 

6. Command Functions, GHQ, 1 December 1941 136 



Illustrations 

General McNair and General Marshall 8 

Army War College 12 

Air View of the Army War College 16 

Staff of GHQ at the Army War College, 29 November 1940 24 

Command and Staff Officers at GHQ Maneuvers 40 

xvii 



I. The Development of 
General Headquarters, 
United States Army 

With the outbreak of hostilities in Europe in September 1939, the War 
Department, already alerted by the activities of the Axis in Europe and the Far 
East, intensified its preparations for the possibility of war. Through the w^inter 
of 1939-40 Great Britain and France held the line of the Rhine, and the Ameri- 
can public found it difficult to see the danger. In April and May the dam broke. 
Denmark, Norw^ay, the Netherlands, Belgium, and France were overrun by the 
German armies, and in June Italy declared war. With the Axis in control of 
western Europe Great Britain faced immediate invasion. The threat to the 
security of the United States could no longer be disregarded, and public opinion 
rallied to the support of extraordinary measures to meet it. Mobilization and 
intensive training began during the early summer of 1940 on the basis of agencies 
and plans which had been elaborated within the framework of the National 
Defense Act of 1920. 

One of the first steps toward mobilization, taken 26 July 1940, was the activa- 
tion of a "nucleus of General Headquarters." ^ To understand this measure it is 
necessary to have in mind the organization of the military establishment in 1940 
and the general plan of mobilization then in effect. 

Organization of the Military Establishment in ig^o 

The field forces of the United States in being and on paper in 1940 were com- 
posed of the Regular Army, the National Guard, and the Organized Reserves. 
The Regular Army, with an actual enlisted strength of 243,095 in July 1940, was 
a standing army, based on short-term enlistments and led by a corps of profes- 
sional officers^ approximately 14,000 in number. The National Guard, with an 

* WD Itr AG 320.2 (7-23-42) M (Ret) M-OCS, 26 Jul 40, sub: GHQ. 320.2/3. The baste WD memo 
is DCS 21152-2 OCS-OW to TAG GHQ* 25 Jul 40, sub not given. AGO Records. Other background 
papers in AGO Classified Records, WPD 3209-10. For the general defensive measures taken by the Army, 
sec Biennial Report of the Chief of Staff of the £7. 5. Army, July i, igjg, to June jo, X941, to the Secretary 
of War, pp. 1-2. (Cited hereafter as Biennial Report, CofS, 1941.) 



2 



ORGANIZATION OF GROUND COMBAT TROOPS 



actual enlisted strength of 226^837, was a force of civilian volunteers trained by 
the States in accordance v^ith standards set by the War Department and put 
through field exercises for two v^^eeks each summer under Federal direction. 
The units of the Organized Reserve existed only in the blueprints for mobiliza- 
tion, A reservoir of trained officers, 104,228 in number was available in the 
Organized Reserve Corps, which by 1940 was made up chiefly of graduates of 
the Reserve Ofl&cers' Training Corps and of Citizens' Military Training Camps.^ 
Behind the field forces stood the arms and services, whose function was to 
develop and supply personnel and equipment and to formulate the tactical and 
training doctrines embodied in their technical and field manuals, the bible of 
the Army. These branches were responsible for what may be termed the "develop- 
mental" functions of the military establishment — the preparation of personnel, 
equipment, and doctrine which the field forces were to employ. Their relation 
to the General Staff was not well defined. Their chiefs, having direct access to the 
Chief of Staff, could bypass die General Staff in its advisory capacity, and exer- 
cised a very considerable influence. In 1940 the branches commonly regarded as 
combat arms were seven in number: Infantry, Cavalry, Field Artillery, Coast 
Artillery, the Air Corps, Corps of Engineers, and Signal Corps. This distribution 
of "developmental" functions reflected the art of warfare as understood in 192 1, 
but technology was rapidly producing new potentialities and arms. The need for 
exploring the military potentialities of the airplane had been recognized after 
the war of 1917-18 in the creation of the Air Corps, and experiments in mechani- 
zation and with new weapons were being continuously carried on in the 
established arms. 

Each of the traditional arms and services had a standard institutional pat- 
tern. Each operated a service school and a board. The schools not only provided 
professional training but also developed the doctrine and training literature of 
the several branches. The boards developed and tested equipment. The school 
system of the branches was supplemented by general service schools operated 
by the War Department for the Army as a whole — the United States Military 
Academy at West Point, the Army Industrial College, the Command and 
General Staff School at Fort Leavenworth, Kans., and finally the Army War 
College in Washington, the postgraduate school of the Army, where officers 
were trained in the staff work incident to high command. 

* (i) Annual Report of the Secretary of War, 1^40, pp. 26, 27, and 40. The enlisted strength of the 
Regular Army as given does not include some six thousand Philippine Scouts, (2) Annual Report df the 
Chief of the National Guard Bureau^ 1940, p. 6. 



GENERAL HEADQUARTERS, 1940-42 



3 



At the top of the structure stood the War Department General Staff, 
directed by the Chief of Staff who acted as adviser to the Secretary of War 
and as head of the military establishment. Gen. George C. Marshall held this 
position in July 1940. The War Department General Staff, the offices of the 
Chiefs of Arms and Services, and those of the Secretary of War and the Assist- 
ant Secretary of War constituted the War Department. 

The administration of the Army w^ithin the continental limits of the United 
States, the Zone of Interior, was conducted in peacetime through nine terri- 
torial commands, known as corps areas. The corps area commanders admin- 
istered the "housekeeping" of the Army stationed in the United States. They 
were also responsible for the execution of the training program of the arms 
and services. Until 1932 they directed the tactical training of the Regular Army 
and the National Guard units stationed in the United States. 

In 1932, under the direction of Gen. Douglas MacArthur as Chief of 
Staff, a stride was made toward preparing the field forces of the Army "to 
take to the field and execute the plans prepared for them." ^ The tactical units 
in the United States, both those in being and those planned for activation in 
an emergency, were brought together into the First, Second, Third, and Fourth 
Armies, Their commanders took over from the corps area commanders respon- 
sibility for the tactical training of the field forces, concentrated in quadrennial 
maneuvers of the Regular and National Guard units assigned to each.* By exer- 
cising this responsibility the headquarters of each army would be training for 
its planning, tactical, and administrative duties in time of war. The four armies 
were also designed to provide a large tactical framework for mobilization.*^ 

* WD Itr OCofS, 9 Aug 32, sub: Esublishmcnt o£ the Fid Armies. 

* Brief histories of the Second, Third, and Fourth Armies in the period preceding mobilization were 
prepared by the AGF Historical Section. Copies of all narratives prepared by the AGF Historical Section 
arc on file in the Historical Division, WDSS. 

'General MacArthur explained the purpose in view: "Heretofore the War Department has never 
been linked to fighting elements by that network of command and staff necessary to permit the unified 
tactical functioning of the American Army.'* Before World War I "the military force then existing was 
conceived of and administered as a collection of infantry, cavalry and artillery regiments." By establishing 
the "skeletonized Army Group on a satisfactory basis/* and by decentralizing certain responsibilities to 
army commanders, General MacArthur believed that the War DeparUncnt was providing "a suitable frame- 
work for the assimilation of the thousands of rccruiu who will, almost simultaneously with the declara- 
tion of war, volunteer for service with the colors." Without the constitution of such an authority, existing 
units would be swamped and immobilized with the organizational and training detail. "The four Field Army 
organization . . . constitutes a logical and definite basis for initial expansion." WD Itr OCofS to CGs four 
Fid Armies, 22 Oct 32, sub: Development of the Four Fid Armies. AGO Records, 320.2 (8--6-32) Sec lA, 



4 



ORGANIZATION OF GROUND COMBAT TROOPS 



After this change, as before, corps area commanders were responsible for sup- 
ply, the special training of officers and enlisted men in the arms and services, 
and the mobilization training of recruits. The change was not as great in fact 
as in principle. Means were not provided to effect a physical separation of the 
armies from the corps areas. The senior corps area commander in the territorial 
area assigned to each army was designated as the commanding general of that 
army, and his headquarters staff was drawn from the corps area staff, whose 
members now acted in a double capacity. But the training functions of the four 
army commands created in 1932 contained, in germinal form, the primary mis- 
sion which was centralized in GHQ in July 1940 and in Army Ground Forces 
after 9 March 1942. 

Reduced to the simplest general terms, the main features of the plan of 
mobilization and expansion of the field forces, within the organization of the 
Army just outlined, were as follows: 

1. The xmits of the Regular Army would be brought to full strength. 

2. The National Guard would be inducted into Federal service and its units 
brought to full strength. 

3. Units of the Organized Reserve would be activated, according to plan, as 
needed. 

4. The training nucleus of each of these new units would be a cadre of 
officers and enlisted men drawn from existing units. 

5. Fillers, to bring enlisted xmits to full strength and new units from cadre 
to authorized strength, would be obtained by voluntary recruitment or draft, 
and, before assignment, be put through a course of basic training in replacement 
training centers.* These centers would be operated by the corps area com- 
manders under the supervision of the chiefs of the arms and services concerned, 
except for the "branch immaterial" centers, which were to be directly imder 
the War Department. 

6. Officers for new units, in addition to cadre officers, would be drawn in 
large part from the Officers' Reserve Corps. 

7. Preparation of tactical units for combat would be conducted by the 
armies created in skeleton form in 1932, which would be brought to full strength 
and activity, 

*The replacement training centers were not set up until the spring of 194 1, and their output was 
never sufficient for the purpose stated. From the beginning* many of the fillers went dirccdy to tactical 
units and received in these their training in Mobilization Training Programs which were programs for basic 
training in the various arms and services. In the actual process of expansion the tactical unit became the 
school of the individual soldier. 



GENERAL HEADQUARTERS, 1940-42 



5 



8, A General Headquarters, United States Army, would be activated as the 
high command of the field forces. 

GHQ in the Mobilization Flan of 1^40-42 

Into this plan of mobilization "a nucleus of GHQ" was injected on 26 July 
1940. Its mission was to facilitate and speed up the process of mobilization by 
taking over the direct supervision of the huge task of organizing and training 
the field forces within the continental United States. 

A GHQ had been one of the capital features of the reorganization of the 
War Department effected in 1921, a reorganization based on the lessons of 
Wor^d War I as read and digested by the Harbord Board/ It had been expected 
that in the next war a GHQ such as that of the American Expeditionary Force 
of 1917-18 would be required. To prepare staff officers of this headquarters as 
completely as possible for their grave responsibilities in war, a War Plans Divi- 
sion ( WPD) was included in the War Department General Staff as reorganized 
in 1921. This division was given the responsibility for drawing the strategic 
plans for the employment of the field forces, and upon the mobilization of the 
Army it was to take the field as the staff of GHQ to put these plans into effect * 
In 1936 this feature of the plan was extended by designating certain oflScers of 
the General Staff for future duty with GHQ when it took the field. It was ex- 
pected that other oflBcers needed would be drawn from the Army War College, 
which would be suspended for tlae duration of the war. Originally the Chief of 
Staff of the War Department was to become the commanding general of this 
expeditionary force, but in 1936 it was decided that, while the Chief of Staff 
would automatically become commanding general of the field forces and of 
GHQ units when mobilization began, the final choice of the commander of 
the expeditionary forces must be left to the decision of the President * 

' The deliberations and report of this Board will be found in The National Defense: Historical Docu- 
ments Relating to the Reorganization Plans of the War Department and to the Present National Defense Act, 
Hearings before the Committee on Military Affairs, House of Representatives, Sgth Congress, 2d Session 
(19^7)* pp. 568-6^)8. (Hereafter cited as Historical Documents.) 

* (i) Preliminary Rpt of Committee on "Nucleus for General Headquarters in the Field in the Event of 
Mobilization,'* 11 Jul 21, especially par 9. Historical Documents, pp. 57ifT* (2) Par 15, sec IV» GO 41, WD, 
16 Aug 21. 

* (i) Historical Documents, p. 576. (2) AR 10-15, 25 Nov 21, with changes of 1933. (3) The changes 
made in 1936 included the designation of officers in each General Staff Division to reinforce WPD when it 
took the field as the staff of GHQ. Memo OCS 1531.3-5 of DCofS USA for CofS USA, 16 Apr 36, sub: 



6 



ORGANIZAllON OF GROUND COMBAT TROOPS 



The "nucleus of GHQ" activated on 26 July 1940 consisted of a Chief of Staff 
and a small group of officers selected to perform the only function which was 
given to it initially, namely, the supervision of the training of tactical units of 
the Army in the continental United States. It was under the command of General 
Marshall, the Chief of Staff, acting as the commanding general of the field forces. 
In its function as a training agency, GHQ was a headquarters inserted between 
the War Department and the four armies. As such it put a capstone on the 
four-army plan." The training supervision given GHQ went further : it included, 
in addition to the four armies, "GHQ Aviation," which comprised the tactical 
air forces then existent, the Armored Force (constituted 10 July 1940), harbor 
defense troops, and "other GHQ reserves." In short, administration of the train- 
ing of the field forces, as distinct from planning and poUcy decisions, was de- 
centralized in July 1940 by transferring this function of the War Department 
General Staff to the staff of GHQ. The reason stated for the activation of GHQ 
was "to decentralize the activities of the War Department," thereby assisting 
General Marshall "in his capacity as Commanding General of the Field Forces," 

General Marshall was the commanding general. His Chief of Staff was 
Brig. Gen. Lesley J. McNair, who became Major General in September 1940 and 
Lieutenant General in June 1941. He had been Commandant of the Command 
and General Staff School since April 1939 and reported for duty in his new assign- 
ment on 3 August 1940. General Marshall freely delegated authority over train- 
ing to General McNair. Though in constant communication with his Chief of 
Staff, he saw him infrequently and actually visited GHQ, located at the Army 
War College, for the first time on 13 May 1941.^^ General McNair directed GHQ. 

Separation of the Field Armies from the Corps Areas 

The activation of GHQ was a first step toward concentration of effort on 
training. Another major step was taken in October, when the command of 
corps areas was separated from that of the four armies.^^ On 19 July 1940 G-3 had 
made a modest proposal that, as a means of establishing more effective control 



Rcorgn of GHQ, approved the same date by the CofS, and memo of the Sec WDGS for ACofS WPD, 17 Apr 
36^ sub as above. OPD Records 3209, 

"•The directive of a6 July 1940 stated that the jurisdiction of GHQ was to be "similar in character to 
that of Army Commanders." 

" Notes (C) on a talk at GHQ by Gen Marshall, 0930 13 May 41. 337/4 (C). 

" Corrected WD Itr AG 320.2 (9-27-40) M-C, 3 Oct 40, sub: Orgn» Tng» Adm of Army. 320.2/8. 



GENERAL HEADQUARTERS, 1940-42 



7 



over training, "tactical headquarters" should be set up "at convenient locations'* 
to assist corps area commanders in their training duties " General McNair, four 
days after reaching his desk at GHQ, pointed out that the activation of GHQ 
called for more radical action. "The establishment of GHQ/' he remarked, 
"amounts in principle to superimposing a theater of operations on the Zone of 
Interior " He therefore recommended that the existing territorial organization, 
the corps area system, "be used for Zone of Interior functions only" and that 
troop units be organized, trained, and administered by armies, corps, divisions, 
and similar tactical units as though in a theater of operations/* General Marshall 
directed that a reorganization be worked out along the lines indicated by 
General McNair." 

The effect of the reorganization adopted was to implement the four-army 
plan of 1932. Army commanders were designated whose staffs, now distinct 
from those of any corps area headquarters, were henceforth to concentrate on 
training. The armies, though still in the United States and based while training 
on the posts, camps, and stations of the corps area commands, were to be "in 
the field." When on maneuvers they would, "insofar as practicable, assume 
supply functions comparable to those of an Army Commander in a Theater of 
Operations where supplies are received direct from Zone of Interior supply 
points " The object was to set the stage for bringing the units of the field 
forces, including the armies, to maximum readiness for combat before they 
left the United States. Always desirable, this objective had now become neces- 
sary. In 1917-18 it had been possible for American troops to undergo or com- 
plete their training and have much of their equipment produced behind the 
lines in France, In June 1940, when the Axis acquired possession of all acces- 
sible beachheads on the European Continent, this possibility was excluded from 
plans for the impending conflict. A vastly more ambitious objective had to be 
envisaged. When the proposal to separate the armies from the corps areas and 
place them under the command of GHQ was under discussion. General 
McNair stated that "the ultimate and essential result of these measures would 
be to develop the field forces into a united whole — GHQ troops and four 

"Memo G-3/42980 for CofS USA, 19 Jul 40, sub: Div Tng. AGO Records, AG 353 (12-28-39), Tng 
Dir 1940-41 (2). 

" GHQ I St ind, 7 Aug 40, to above. 

" Sec V of memo G-3/42980 for CofS USA, 19 Jul 40, cited ia footnote 13. 

"WD Itr AG 320.2 (10-14-40) M-C-M, 19 Oct 40, sub: Chaage in Dir oq OrgQ, Tng, and Adm of 
the Army. 320.2/18. 



8 



ORGANIZATION OF GROUND COMBAT TROOPS 



armies— free to move strategically and capable of prompt and effective tactical 
action. Thus it w^ould be possible to move an army v/hcn and where directed 
by a simple order." " 

This ideal was not completely implemented by the measures actually taken. 
General McNair had envisaged the establishment of GHQ as amounting "in 
principle to superimposing a theater of operations on the Zone of Interior." ^' 
The measures taken in July and October 1940 did not in fact produce this 
result. They failed to complete either the delegation of authority over the 
training of the field forces or the liberation of the army commanders from 
responsibility for the administration of posts. In short, GHQ w^as not vested 
with the full authority of a theater headquarters. Though its jurisdiction was 
described "as similar in character to that of Army Commanders," ^ GHQ was 
never vested with the administrative authority even of an army commander, 
but was subject in logistical matters to G-4 of the War Department. In prin- 
ciple the respective authority of army and corps area commanders was clearly 
delimited. Corps area commanders, operating under G-4 of the War Depart- 
ment, remained responsible for the system of supply and for the construction, 
maintenance, and repairs of fixed installations, specifically of posts, camps, and 
stations, and harbor defense projects, as well as for the training of service troops 
assigned to their stations. On the other hand, to give the armies and their staffs 
full training for field duty, army commanders were not only to take over at 
once from corps area commanders their training functions as far as tactical 
units were concerned, but to the extent of their facilities and personnel to pro- 
vide medical care and evacuation for the field forces and in periods of maneu- 
vers, "insofar as practicable, assume supply functions." The chain of command. 



"3d ind, 16 Sep 40, to memo G-3/42980 for CofS USA, 19 Jul 40, cited in footnote 13. 
^* GHQ i8t ind, 7 Aug 40, to above. 

'•WD Itr AG 320.2 (7-25-40) M (Ret) M-OCS, 26 Jul 40, sub: GHQ. 320.2/3. The basic memo is 
OCS 21 152-2 OCS-OW, 25 Jul 40. AGO Records. 



GENERAL McNAIR AND GENERAL MARSHALL 
The "situation map" shows the positions of the Second and 
Third Armies in the Louisiana Maneuvers, 26 September 1941* 



GENERAL HEADQUARTERS, 1940-42 



9 



nevertheless, remained tangled. In supply matters army commanders were 
under the corps area system and G-4, not GHQ. When a tactical commander 
on a post, camp, or station was senior to the representative of the corps area 
commander, he became post commander. The expedient adopted to relieve 
him of post duties in such cases was to instruct him to appoint a "post execu- 
tive" and delegate to him the routine administration of the post,^** As noted 
above, General McNair's concept was that GHQ, to accomplish its training 
mission effectively and with complete realism, should have essentially the 
organization of a theater of operations. The link in the chain of command 
necessary to complete this concept would have been a communications zone 
placed under its authority. This link was not provided. The need for it was 
felt even more sharply later when the authority of GHQ was extended to 
include base and defense commands. 

Nevertheless, in the establishment of GHQ and the reorganization of 
October 1940 important steps had been taken to limber up a peacetime system 
which had been largely occupied with routine housekeeping functions and to 
put the Army into the field under centrahzed direction to train for combat. 

Training Tashj of GHQ 

The magnitude of the training tasks confronting GHQ in August 1940 was 
staggering. The tactical units whose preparation for war it was to direct and 
energize existed for the most part only on paper. All planning and preparation 
had been hampered by lack of money and manpower. Eight infantry divisions, 
one cavalry division and elements of a second, and one armored division had 
been activated, but in August 1940 these divisions were far from full strength. 
Only enough corps troops had been brought together to activate one corps and 
sketch another. The four armies consisted only of skeleton headquarters and 
4,400 troops. The units of the Regular Army in the United States, located at 
widely scattered posts, had not been assembled except in quadrennial maneuvers 
directed by each army in turn. The eighteen divisions of the National Guard 
had had only such training in the field as could be acquired in a two-week 
period each summer. The field training of corps and armies had had ta be 
limited largely to command-post exercises. Not until 1940 had it been possible 

*Par lib corrected WD Itr AG 320.2 (9-27-40) M-C, 3 Oct 40, sub: Orgn, Tng, and Adm of the 
Army, 320.2/8. The arguments for this device are fully set forth in a memo of G-3 WD for CofS USA, 24 
Aug 40, sub: Adm of Posts. AGF Records, G-3/43332. 



10 



ORGANIZATION OF GROUND COMBAT TROOPS 



to stage what General Marshall described as "the first genuine corps and army 
maneuvers in the history of this Nation." " 

GHQ had the twofold task of completing the imperfect trainmg of the 
forces in being and at the same time of using such experience and military skill 
as these had to train for imminent war the mass of units and fresh recruits that 
were then being mobilized. On 13 June 1940 the authorized enlisted strength of 
the Regular Army had been expanded from 227,000 to 280,000 and on 26 June 
to 375,000. On 16 September the induction of National Guard units began, 
continuing until November 1941 as housing and equipment became available. 
These units brought 278,526 enlisted men into active service.^ They had had 
more and better training than in 1917, thanks to the program authorized in 
1920, But their training was far from complete, and the National Guard, no 
less than the mass of raw recruits, had to be taught tactics and the use of weapons 
which were revolutionizing the art of warfare. On the date when induction of 
the National Guard began, the Selective Service Bill became law, and, by July 
1941, 606,915 selectees had been inducted.^® These selectees were used to bring 
existing units up to authorized strength or as fillers for new units. Beginning 
I March 1941 large numbers of them were sent to the replacement training 
centers of the arms and services for basic training. 

Meanwhile new units were being constructed around cadres drawn from 
units of the Regular Army and National Guard. The ground forces, as they 
expanded under GHQ, were organized into 27 infantry divisions (9 Regular 
Army, one of which was motorized, and 18 National Guard), 4 armored 
divisions, 2 cavalry divisions, and i cavalry brigade. Enough corps units were 
assembled or activated to set up nine army corps.^ Before the end of 1941 the 
organization of the four armies had been brought to a point which made it 
possible to put all of them through maneuvers and in September of that year 
to pit two of them, fully organized, against each other in the field. By i July 
1941 the strength of the field forces had reached a total of 1,326,577 officers 
and enlisted men." The training of this huge force, and more to come, had 

" (j) Annual Report of the Chief of the National Guard Bureau, 1941, pp. 6-9. The period of field 
training for the Guard was increased to three weeks in 1939-40 and to four in the summer of 194 1. (2) 
Biennial Report, CojS, 1941, p, 3. 

" Annual Report of the Chief of the National Guard Bureau, ig4i,p,2y. 

" Annual Report of the Secretary of War, ig4i,p. loi. 

■* Biennial Report, CofS, 1041, Chart 4. 

"This figure is given in the Annual Report of the Secretary of War, 1941, p. 96. 



GENERAL HEADQUARTERS, 1940-42 



II 



to match or excel the preparation of enemy forces known to be thoroughly 
trained and, in the case of Germany, magnificently equipped. 

To provide the military leadership for this great task GHQ had immedi- 
ately available its share of the 13,797 Regular Army officers then on active duty. 
The National Guard was to bring into active service 21,074 officers.^* But only 
6,800 of these had completed a course of instruction in a service school." An 
officer pool existed, consisting of approximately 33,000 Reserve officers and 
104,228 graduates of the ROTC in the Officers' Reserve Corps.'* By i July 
1941, 56,700 Reserve officers in these two categories had been called to extended 
active duty; at that date they akeady constituted from 75 to 90 percent of the 
officers of the Regular Army divisions.^^ Commissioned personnel was cur- 
rently being supplemented by graduates of West Point and of ROTC units 
and, after August 1941, by graduates of the officer candidate schools set up 
in July of that year. 

Men and means having been provided, work had to be done in haste and 
distraction which could be done with maximum efficiency only in the leisure 
of peace. The basic training of soldiers, the advanced training of many officers of 
all grades, and the tactical training of units of all sizes up to armies had to be 
carried on simultaneously, with officers and men in every degree of proficiency 
or lack of it and with only a thin line of Regular Army officers and noncommis- 
sioned officers to take the lead. 

The task was made immensely more difficult because it had to be prosecuted 
in the midst not only of an imprecedented expansion but also of continual and 
rapid changes imposed by the overwhelming successes of the German Army, 
Arms and equipment were being changed, and the new types could not be 
made available in quantities adequate for training. Many units were being con- 
verted; the Cavalry was being mechanized; the motorized division was being 
developed. At the same time the basic organization of the infantry division was 
undergoing a radical reform while the Army was being assembled. The "trian- 
gular" division was being substimted for the "square" division, to provide the 
flexibility required by the concept of the combat team. This process of change 
began in the winter of 1939-40,^" but as late as September 1940 the Tables of 

*" Annual Report of the Secretary of War^ 1941 » p. 96. 

"Draft memo (S) oi CofS USA for USW, 30 Sep 41, sub: Morale of the Army. AGO Records, 353 
(9-19-40) (i) (Morale of the Army) (S). 

^Annual Report of the Secretary of War, 1940, pp. 35-36, 40. 

* Amntial Report of the Secretary of War, 1941, p. 1 10. " Biennial Report, CofS, 1941, p. 2. 



12 



ORGANIZATION OF GROUND COMBAT TROOPS 



Organization for the triangular division were still not ready. In August pre- 
liminary charts were issued, to which nine Regular Army infantry divisions, the 
I St through the 9th, were ordered to conform by i October/^ The eighteen Na- 
tional Guard divisions remained square divisions during the first year of their 
field training and were reorganized on the triangular pattern only during Jan- 
uary and February 1942.^^ Meanwhile, all through the period of GHQ's existence 
new types of units were being formed or multiplied: armored divisions, para- 
chute troops, mountain troops, antitank and antiaircraft units, and the service 
and maintenance units required to support these specialized troops.^^ As organ- 
ization changed, doctrine and rules of procedure as set forth in technical and 
field manuals had to be kept up to date, and the staff of GHQ, as the group in 
charge of training operations, was called on to give much thought and time to 
the necessary revisions. These were only some of the changes that were taking 
place in the GHQ period, but they provide a rough measure of the magnitude 
of the job which General McNair was given in the summer of 1940. 

The GHQ Staff 

General McNair performed his task with a staff whose maximum strength 
by 31 May 194 1 was only twenty-one commissioned officers. To get officers who 
had "an open mind with reference to innovations," General Marshall directed 
that those assigned to GHQ should be under fifty years of age. General McNair 
reported to the Army War College from Fort Leavenworth on 3 August 1940. 
By the end of the month his staff was composed of seven officers. The Infantry, 
the Field Artillery, the Cavalry, the Coast Artillery Corps, the Armored Force, 
the Corps of Engineers, and the Signal Corps were each represented by one 
officer. In September G-i, G-2, G-3, and G-4 functions were assigned, and an 
Adjutant General, an Air officer, and a National Guard officer were brought in. 
In October a representative of the Organized Reserves was added, in November 

•^WD Itr AG 320.2 (8-31-40) M (Ret) M-C» lo Sep 40, sub: Rcorgn of Triangular Divs. 320.2/6. 
The charts had been issued with WD Itr AG 320.2 (8-12-40) P (C), 23 Aug 40, sub: Charts for Orgn 
of die Triangular Div, the Type Army Corps, and Army Trs of a Type Army of Three Corps. (As 
approved 8 Aug 40.) 320.2/4. An example of the achievement of the Army in bringing an army to life 
in spite of insufficient personnel and funds is recorded in AGF Historical Section, The Third Army. 

''The 32d, 34th, and 37th Divisions were triangularizcd in January, and all of the odicrs except the 
27th in February 1942. The 27th, which had been sent to Hawaii, was reorganized on 24 August. Direc- 
tives in 322, 322.13, and 320.2 (S). Biennial Report, CofS, 1^41, p. 10. 




ARMY WAR COLLEGE 



GENERAL HEADQUARTERS, 1940-42 



13 



a Medical officer, and in January 1941 an officer from the Quartermaster Corps. 
In January the officer who had represented the National Guard was redesignated 
as representative of the Civilian Component, and in April the Coast Artillery 
officer became the Antiaircraft officer,^* 

During this first year tlie line between general and special staff functions 
was not sharply drawn. Business was carried on in an informal manner, 
largely by consultation.*^ The staff met for work under Stanford White's 
Roman vaults in the Army War College building, where the last graduating 
exercises of the War College "for the duration" had been held on 20 June.** 
On the breezy point between two rivers, at the end of the campus-like parade 
ground of the Army War College post, the oflScers reported for duty in civilian 
clothes, as they continued to do until Pearl Harbor. The civilian guard at the 
main door recalls not recognizing General McNair and other generals and 
challenging tliem to show dicir identification cards. General McNair's little 
staff of officers had anything but a martial aspect, in spite of the warlike con- 
centration and energy with which they devoted themselves to their task. 

GHQ as a Training Division of the General Staff 

During the first year of its existence GHQ was virtually a division of the 
War Department General Staff, although it was located outside the General 
Staff and was itself organized as a complete staff in embryo. As Chief of Staff 



For General Mirshall's policy for the selection of officers, see p. 48 below and also minutes of 
his talk at GHQ, 13 May 1941. 337/4 (C). The other statements in this paragraph were obtained from 
330.3 (Monthly Rosters-Strength Returns), checked with Lt Col Seleno, Ground AG Sec. 
The oflficer personnel of the staff on 31 May 1941 was as follows: 



Maj Gen Lesley J. McNair 
Col William E. Lynd 
Lt Col Lloyd D. Brown 
Lt Col Mark W. Clark 
j.t Col Frederick J. dc Rohan 
Lt Col Charles H. Gerhardt 
Lt Col Farragut F. Hall 



Lt Col Morris Handwerk 
Lt Col Vernon K. Hurd 
Lt Col Clyde L. Hyssong 
Lt Col Allen F. Kingman 
Lt Col Jerry V. Matcjka 
Lt Col Bryan L. Milburn 
Lt Col Richard B. Moran 



Lt Col Charles B. Spruit 

Maj James G. Christiansen 

Maj Thomas E. Lewis 

Maj Hammond McD. Monroe 

Maj William D. Old 

Maj Julian E. Raymond 

Col Kenneth Buchanan (attached) 



'^This statement is based on the recollections of stafT officers on duty at Hq AGP in May 1943, 
notably General Hyssong and Colonel Selcno, and par i> Itr of Gen McNair to TAG, 9 Jan 41, sub: 
En] Pers for Duty at GHQ USA (AGO Records, OCS 2T 152-2) stating that all officers at present, except 
the AG, are assigned to the General Staff and perform the dual function of general and special staff officers. 

"The Army War College was suspended by WD Itr AG 352.01 (6-11-40) M-MC, 11 Jun 40, sub: 
Courses at AWC and C&GS Sch, 1940-41. AGO Records. 









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GENERAL HEADQUARTERS, 1940-42 



15 



reporting directly to General Marshall, General McNair was drawn into the 
staff discussion of all major issues. Usually he consulted his own staff before 
making recommendations. At the same time GHQ became a living presence 
to the commanders under its supervision by going to the field and making 
itself known. It met their desire for a single command post in the War Depart- 
ment capable of representing their needs and of initiating expeditious action. 
In December 1940 the War Department found it necessary to remind the 
commanders of units placed under GHQ for training that only those commu- 
nications which dealt with training should pass through the Chief of Staff, 
GHQ. "In the past," the letter ran, "the Chief of Staff has exercised his func- 
tions as commander of the Field Forces through the War Department. GHQ 
is the agency through which he would exercise command over such forces in 
an emergency. For the present, however, the recendy formed GHQ will be 
concerned only with the direction and supervision of training of the Field 
Forces, exclusive of overseas garrisons. The War Department will continue to 
be the agency through which command, except for training, will be exer- 
cised."^^ It seemed necessary to General McNair himself, a month later, to 
keep his staff within bounds by cautioning it against initiating projects not 
directly concerned with training. The War Department had been referring 
many matters other than training to GHQ for comment and recommendation, 
and the staff was therefore encouraged to include in its training contacts 
observations of conditions other than training. "But such side issues," General 
McNair declared, "must not weaken the main effort — training — nor create the 
impression among troop units that this staff is interested more than casually 
in other activities,"^® These two directives indicate both General McNair*s 
concentration on training and the importance which GHQ had already 
acquired by the early weeks of 1941 in the eyes both of its staff and of the 
commanders under its supervision. 



Expansion of the Functions and Authority of GHQ, 3 July 1941 

The critical international situation required not only intensive and rapid 
training of the U. S. Army but also the development of definite plans for the 
defense of the United States, When Dunkerque and the air bombing of England 

"WD Itr AG 320.2 (12-5-40) M-P-M, 13 Dec 40. sub: GHQ Trs and Armies. 320.2/87. 
"Memo of CofS GHQ for Staff GHQ, 15 Jan 41. 320,2/3/3. 



i6 



ORGANIZATION OF GROUND COMBAT TROOPS 



threatened the security of the country, measures had to be concerted for the 
defense of the continental United States and Alaska as well as the Atlantic 
approaches to the United States and the Panama Canal 

On 17 March 194 1 the United States was divided into four defense com- 
mands.^^ If invasion threatened, these defense commands were to become theaters 
of operations. Each was put under the authority of the commanding general 
of one of the four field armies. The immediate duty of the commander and his 
army staff, given an augmentation of personnel for the purpose, was to plan 
the measures necessary to repel invasion. Since it was expected that an initial 
attack on the United States would have to be met first in the air, air planning 
and organization figured prominently in these measures for defense. The order 
of 17 March 1941, creating the defense commands, activated four air forces, 
located in "districts" roughly coterminous with those of the four defense com- 
mands. The commander of GHQ Aviation, after 20 June 1941 the Air Force 
Combat Command, in which the four air forces were united, was made respon- 
sible for "the aviation and air defense plans for Defense Commands." *° 

Meanwhile preparation had also been made for strengthening an outer ring 
of defenses toward Europe. On 3 September 1940, the President had announced 
the lease from Great Britain of additional bases in the Atlantic, in exchange for 
fifty destroyers, and in the spring of 194 1 agreed to replace British troops in 
Iceland with U. S. forces. Detailed plans for garrisoning Iceland, the new bases, 
and a cordon of defense commands in the Atlantic and Caribbean had to be made. 

But while the necessary defensive measures were being taken, plans for an 
eventual offensive also had to be prepared. The traditional doctrine of the Army 
and Navy placed the emphasis on crushing the enemy's attack far from our 
shores and on launching an offensive at the earliest possible moment. 

The existing organization of the War Department (see [Chart No, i ) was 
put under an enormous strain by the burden and multiplicity of all these demands 
for planning and administration. The danger of war was increasing rapidly. The 
destroyer-bases exchange in September 1940 and the passage of the Lend-Lease 
Act in March 1941 had committed the United States to supporting Great Britain 
openly in order to stave off attack while arming and to maintain positions from 
which to strike the potential enemy. As war came swiftly nearer, a group of 
officers in the General Staff, alarmed by the delays involved in existing proce- 

" WD Itr AG 320.2 (2-28-41) M-WPD-M to CGs, CofS GHQ, etc, 17 Mar 41, sub: Defense Plans- 
Continental US, with atchd charts. AGO Records. 

" For a discussion of these measures see below, Section VII L 



AIR VIEW m THE ARMY WAR COLLlGE 



GENERAL HEADQUARTERS, 194(M2 



17 



dures, became convinced diat the War Department must freely delegate some 
of its responsibilities to speed up action and to lighten the burden which was 
mounting on the shoulders of the Chief of Staff. A step toward this end was 
taken on 3 July 1941, when the authority of GHQ was extended to include, in 
addition to training, the planning and command of military operations.*^ 

"GHQ now supersedes War Plans Division in the organization and control 
of task forces and operations. It will continue to direct the training of the 
Ground Forces and combined air-ground training." Such was the statement of 
policy approved by General Marshall on 17 June." By this decision GHQ was 
advanced closer toward assuming the role for which it had been cast by the 
Harbord Report in 1921. GHQ was to plan operations as well as direct them. 
It was to "prepare theater of operations plans prescribed in Army Strategic 
Plans and such other operations as may be directed by the War Department.*' " 
GHQ was secretly informed that it would shortly be directed to prepare, in a 
given order of priority, four such plans.** 

Behind this decision lay the recognition of the imminence of war for the 
United States. It was stated that "military combat operations may be required 
in the near future." Effective "coordination, conduct and control" of operations 
"in a number of minor and widely separated theaters" would be "an extremely 
difficult task," requiring "an executive organization capable of prompt decision 
and expeditious action." Since it was recognized that there was "no agency of 
the War Department now organized to meet this requirement," the powers of 
GHQ were enlarged to meet it.** 

The new mission of GHQ was defined as "planning, initiation and execu- 
tion of such military operations as may be directed by the War Department." 
Specifically, the mission consisted of the following duties: *^ 

"WD lu (R) AG 320.2 (6-19-41) MC-E-M, 3 Jul 41, sub: Enlargement ot the Functions of GHQ. 
320.2/3/34. 

*'Note, 17 Jun 41. AGO Records, WPD 3209-11 (S). 
" Par lb (i), WD Itr, 3 Jul, cited in footnote 41 above. 

" Pars 2 and 3, Sec I, WPD memo (S) for CofS USA, — Jun 41, sub: Enlargement of the Functions of 
GHQ. 320.2/1 (S). This GHQ copy bears the following note, initialed "F. L. P(arks)'*: "This stafi was 
approved and promulgated by restricted letter AG 320.2 (6-1 9-41) MC-E-M, Subject: 'Enlargement of 
Functions of GHQ.* Parts were not put in letter to avoid classification of 'Secret* (verbally from Gen. 
Malony to Col. Parks)." 

" Pars 1-4, Sec I, WPD memo, Jun 41, cited in footnote 44 above. 

"WD Itr (R) AG 320.2 (6-19-41) MC-E-M, 3 Jul 41, sub: Enlargement of the Functions o£ GHQ. 
320.2/3/34 (R). 



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GENERAL HEADQUARTERS, 1940-42 



19 



1. GHQ will prepare theater of operations plans for those operations prescribed 
in Army Strategic Plans and such other operations as may be direaed by the War 
Department .... 

2. It will coordinate and control military operations in those theaters assigned to 
its command, to include such overseas departments, bases, and other military means 
as are made available to it by the War Department, 

3. It will exercise command over task forces set up for and required in the execution 
of a prospective operation from the date specified by the War Department for the 
assumption of such command. 

4. It will exercise command over such combat or other units, in the continental 
United States, both air and ground, as shall hereafter, from time to time, be designated 
to it as a reserve by the War Department. 

5. It shall have under its direct control such credits in supplies, ammunition and 
equipment as may, from time to time, be specifically allotted to it by the War Department. 

By a directive of 25 March GHQ had been empowrered to supervise and 
coordinate die planning activities of the four defense commands in the conti- 
nental United States, but not "until such time as the staff of GHQ had been 
expanded to undertake these additional responsibilities." That time had now 
come. GHQ was given "full authority for the employment of the means avail- 
able to it, including designated reserves, in the execution of the task in each of 
the theaters assigned to it for command, and authority for the transfer of units 
and means between theaters under its control," with the proviso, of course, "that 
such transfer falls within the framework of the strategic directive issued by the 
War Department." 

Under the terms of the new directive GHQ shared the planning of oper- 
ations with WPD, with the Chief of the Army Air Forces, and with the com- 
manders of bases and d efense commands. Theoretically the division of func- 



tions (see [Chart No. 2|) was as follows: WPD drafted strategic plans; GHQ, 
in collaboration with the commanders of bases and defense commands, elab- 
orated theater plans which fitted into these; the Chief of the Army Air Forces, 
maintaining contact with GHQ by means of an Air Support Section located in 
that headquarters,** made air plans which became air annexes of theater plans 

"(i) WD Itr AG 320.2 (3-24-41) M-WPD-M, 25 Mar 41, sub: Defense Plans— Continental US. 



320.2/158/3. (2) Sec fobtnote 46 above. 



"This was a staff section of the Air Force Combat Command. Its chief, was Colonel Lynd, who had 
been General McNair*8 Air ofl&cer from the beginning. The Air Annexes were prepared in this section. 
Statement to AGF Hist Off by Mrs. Naomi Allen, who was in charge of the Records Section, Army War 
College, as well as the processing of war plans framed by GHQ. 



20 



ORGANIZATION OF GROUND COMBAT TROOPS 



after approval by the theater commander and the concurrence of the Chief of 
Staff, GHQ. When execution of a theater plan was ordered, GHQ was drawn 
into the chain of command between the theater commander and the War 
Department to supervise, to coordinate, to inspect, and to share the burden of 
administration at Washington. But even at this stage full command was with- 
held, since GHQ was not given control over supply. 

Such an organization was obviously not "functional" in the sense of 
conferring clear-cut authority commensurate with responsibility. It remained to 
be seen whether it would stand up under the stress of impending events, which 
were to include the outbreak of war on 7 December. 

Although the charter received in July was somewhat restrictive, extensive 
assignments were given GHQ in the following eight months. 

Planning Activities 

GHQ prepared in whole or part sixteen detailed operational plans for task 
forces, including those for the U. S. forces which relieved the British in Iceland 
and in British and Dutch Guiana, and for the forces sent to the British Isles 
in the spring of 1942, At the beginning plans for reconnaissance and occupa- 
tion of protective bases in the Atlantic were in the foreground. Other plans were 
prepared for expeditionary forces which seemed likely to be required by the 
rapidly changing situation in Europe and the Western Hemisphere but which 
were not launched. The plans nevertheless had to be worked up in detail and 
imder high pressure. One of these, SUPER-GYMNAST, prepared in January 
1942, laid the basis for TORCH, the plan for the operation launched in North 
Africa on 8 November 1942.*^ In addition, GHQ had to work out operational 
plans for the base commands in Bermuda, Greenland, Newfoundland, Iceland, 
and Alaska and to supervise and coordinate the theater plans submitted by the 
commanding generals of the Caribbean Defense Command and of three of the 
four defense commands in the United States — the Northeastern, Southern, 
and Western.'* 

**Mcmo (S) o£ Gen McNair for CG FF, 15 Jan 42, sub: Future Operations. McNair Correspondence 
with CofS (S), 

"This summary is based on (i) the Diary (S) of GHQ, 314.81 (S); (2) Minutes (S) of Staff Con- 
ferences, GHQ, 337 (S); (3) 381 General (S)» all in GHQ Records; (4) various papers filed under the 
names of pertinent "color" plans and base and defense commands in AGO Classified Records Section, and 
in the Combined Subjects file of OPD records, where they were consulted through the courtesy of Miss 



GENERAL HEADQUARTERS, 1940-42 



21 



A highly efficient routine was worked out for processing through the 
GHQ staff the "operations plans" which that headquarters was directed to 
prepare. The first step, taken whenever feasible, was to send a party to the 
area in question to make spot reconnaissance. On its return, a general confer- 
ence of the staff for "orientation" was held in the War College Auditorium. 
The next step was for the "G's" in a standard order — G-2, G-3, G-i, and 
G-4— to work up all the basic data for a plan framed within the strategic 
directive handed down by WPD. A draft was then blocked out under the head- 
ings: "Situation," "Missions and Organization/' "Operations," "Supply," "Com- 
mand." The draft was presented to the entire staff for discussion. Details were 
provided in "annexes" worked out by the general and special staff sections. All 
parts of the plan were prepared and assembled in conformity with a dummy 
model.** When completed, the plan was submitted to WPD for approval. 

Meanwhile, the commander and his staff assigned for a particular opera- 
tion were ordered to the War College, where the approved plan was laid before 
them for study. They were instructed to ask no questions for two days, after 
which they were free to discuss it in detail with the officers who had drafted it. 

The whole task required the management and coordination of a compli- 
cated mass of details in the form of factual information, men, and things. In 
the drafting stage each section and annex of a plan had to be coordinated not 
only with numerous agencies located in the complex organization of the War 
Department, but with agencies of the Navy Department as well. Nevertheless, 
plans were worked up with conspicuous speed and economy of effort. The first 
of these, the plan for Iceland, was completed in seven days after the recon- 
noitering party had reported. The Diary and Minutes of GHQ from September 
1941 until the following March show that headquarters preparing plans and 
dispatching them with a speed comparable to that of an assembly plant under 
rush orders. One secret of the efficiency displayed was a compact staff, located 
apart from the maze of offices in the Munitions Building and under the direc- 
tion of a leader, the Deputy Chief of Staff, Brig. Gen. Harry J. Malony, who 

Alice Miller; (5) the file "Status, War Plans," AWC Records 111-55C, a ledger of the plans prepared by 
GHQ, in the custody (1945) of Mrs. Naomi Allen, The assistance of Miss Miller and Mrs. Allen, sup- 
ported by their recollections, has been of great value. No evidence has been found that the Central Defense 
Command submitted a plan to GHQ. 

" (i) Min (S) of StafI Conferences, GHQ, 17 Sep 41. 337 (S). (2) GHQ memo (S) for all Staff Sees 
GHQ, 10 Oct 41, sub: Preparation of Plans, Rainbow 5. 381 R-5/3 (S) 

Ibid, See also mimeographed model of operations plan, Cpy 3. AWC Records, 111-55B, 



22 



ORGANIZATION OF GROUND COMBAT TROOPS 



inspired them with his sense of the urgency and importance of their task. 
Another was the presence under a single roof, and in a single organization, of rep- 
resentatives of the arms and services, who could furnish both technical informa- 
tion and quick contact with these agencies. The isolated location of GHQ made 
it easier to enforce security. The standard operating procedure developed was 
so effective that it continued to be employed by the Operations Division of the 
War Department General Staff, which in March 1942 took over the planning 
functions of GHQ." 

Cammand Problems 

Meanwhile, GHQ was also exercising its command functions over task 
forces and theaters successively placed under its authority. In July 194 1 it organ- 
ized and dispatched the first echelon of the force sent to Iceland. On 13 August 
it was given control of the second echelon, which sailed on 5 September. This 
force was, the report stated, "the first United States Expedition to depart with 
a complete plan and all means necessary to implement it." On 2 January 1942 
GHQ was put in command of the forces in the British Isles, and in the follow- 
ing weeks it organized and dispatched the units sent to Northern Ireland and 
England, It also planned and prepared those designated for the rehef of the 
garrisons in Dutch Guiana and those which it was believed might be needed to 
reinforce other strategic points on the coasts of Central and South America. 

At die same time the responsibilities of GHQ gradually came to include 
an ever greater number of new bases and defense commands which were being 
activated in 1940-41 in the Atlantic, the Caribbean, and Alaska to give 
additional protection to the approaches to the United States and the Panama 
Canal. On 15 July 1941 the Bermuda Base Command and on 19 July the New- 
foundland Base Command were transferred from the First Army to GHQ.^° 
On the latter date United States Army units in Greenland were attached to 
GHQ for tactical command only; on 26 November they were constituted under 

^ The information in this and the foregoing paragraph was drawn largely from interviews of the AGF 
Historical Officer with Maj. Gen. Harry J, Malony, formerly DCofS GHQ, lo Jan 44, and with Brig, Gen. 
Paul McD. Robinett, formerly ACofS G-2 GHQ, 5 Feb 44. 

" GHQ Quarterly Rpt (S), 15 Sep 41. 320.2/1 (S), 

" (1) WD telg (S) AG 320.2 (7-8-41) MC-E to First Army, 8 Jul 41. AGO Records, 320.2 (4-28-41) 
(Comd of US Units in Newfoundland) (S), (2) WD Itr AG 320.2 (7-S-4i) MC-E-M to CofS GHQ, sub: 
Comd of US Army Units in Bermuda. AGO Records, 320.2 (BBC) (7-8-41). 



GENERAL HEADQUARTERS. 194(M2 



23 



GHQ as the Greenland Base Command," In die previous February a Carib- 
bean Defense Command had been established with headquarters at Quarry 
Heights, Panama Canal Department, embracing all bases under United States 
control in the Atlantic approaches to the Panama Canal.**' On i December 1941 
command of this critically important area was vested in GHQ." 

Then came Pearl Harbor and war. On 14 December the Western Defense 
Command, with Alaska included, was made a theater of operations under the 
command of GHQ.**^ On 24 December the Northeastern Defense Command, 
extended to embrace Newfoundland, was similarly converted into the Eastern 
Theater of Operations under GHQ.*** The responsibilities of GHQ for the con- 
trol of operations had now reached their peak. In die summer and fall of 1941 
the eventual transfer of Hawaii and the Philippines, indeed of "all projects and 
oudying bases," had been expected by the GHQ staff.**^ These expectations were 
not realized. Indeed the command responsibilities of GHQ were eventually 
contracted. On 19 December 1941 control of army as well as naval forces 
assigned for operations to the Caribbean Coastal Frontier, the seaward sector 
of die Caribbean Defense Command, passed despite the protests of GHQ to 
the Navy under the principle of "unity of command." On 31 January 1942 
operational forces assigned to Bermuda were also transferred to the control of 
the Navy Department." Control of operations in the Pacific area beyond the 
western coast line were not delegated by the War Department to GHQ. 

" (1) WD Itr (S) AG 320.2 (7-10-41) MC-E-M, lo Jul 41, sub: Comd of US Army Units in Green- 
land, AGO Records, 320.2/7 (Greenland) (S). (2) WD Ur (C) AG 320.2 (11-5-41) MC-O-M, 26 Nov 
41, sub: Activation of Greenland Base Comd. AGO Records, WPD 4173-126 to Greenland, sec 5 (S). 

"WD rad (S) to Lt Gen Voorhls, SC PCZ, 10 Feb 41, sub: Caribbean Defense Comd. AGO Records, 
320.2 (1-8-41) (S). 

"^Tel^ No 7 (S), CG GHQ to CG CDC, 28 Nov 41. AGO Records, 320.2/3 (CDC) (S). 

" (i) WD III (S) AG 320.2 (12-11-41) MC-F to CG WDC, 11 Dec 41, sub: Supplementary Direc- 
tions for WDC. (2) Telg No 10 (S) to CG WDC, 14 Dec 41, signed Marshall "Official, Hyssong," no sub 
given. Both in AGO Records, 320.2/34 (WDC Str) (S). 

"WD Itr (C) AG 371 (12-19-41) MSC-E-M, 20 Dec 41, sub.* Creation of ETO, AGO Records, 
(i) Min (S) of Staff Conferences, GHQ» 6 Aug 41. 337 (S). (2) Memo (S) for all Staff Sees GHQ, 
7 Aug 41, sub: Expansion of GHQ. 320.2/22 (S), (3) "We have advance copies of directive of tasks to be 
turned over to GHQ. In general all projects and outlying bases arc to be ours.** Min (S) of Staff Conferences, 
9 Aug 41. 337 (S). On 15 November the DCofS reported that Alaska and the Philippines would be trans- 
ferred "when construction was in better shape and further advanced, and when equipment and supply matters 
were in better shape in the Philippines.'* 337, 5 Nov 41 (S). 

" (i) WPD memo (S) for TAG, 19 Dec 41, sub: Unity of Comd in tlic Caribbean Coastal Fronrier. 
AGO Records, 381 (Unity of Comd) (i 2-1 7-41) (S). (2) A telegram (S), Andrews to GHQ, 20 Dec 4i> 
reported assumption of command by the Navy on that date. 320.2/90 (CDC) (S). (3) The protest of GHQ 



24 



ORGANIZATION OF GROUND COMBAT TROOPS 



Expansion and Reorganization of the GHQ Staff 

In response to the new demands made on General McNair and his staff 
after 3 July 1941, GHQ underwent a transformation. Its strength, which stood 
at 29 officers and 64 enlisted men in the latter part of June, was considerably 
more than doubled by i December 1941 (76 officers, 178 enlisted men). Before 
the dissolution of GHQ on 9 March 1942 it had increased to 137 officers and 
327 enlisted mcn.*^ This expansion created new administrative burdens. Officers 
had to be procured and office space had to be found for them. The War Col- 
lege building overflowed, and a new office building, "T-5," and additional 
living quarters were authorized, designed to accommodate an anticipated 
strength of approximately 300 officers and 1,000 enlisted men,** At the begin- 
ning of December 194 1 the staff was reorganized for the more effective dis- 
charge of its dual function of training on the one hand and operations and 
planning on the other. The litde group of officers in mufti, consulting infor- 
mally in the big spaces of the War College and frequently absent on inspection 
tours, was converted into a highly organized planning and administrative 
machine, which crowded all the available space on the Army War College 
post. Measures had to be taken to maintain the expeditious action character- 
istic of the original "nucleus." " 

As late as January 1941 the staff had been organized only to the extent of 
having on it officers representing arms and services and "G" functions cssen- 

is recorded in memo (S) of Gen McNair for CofS USA, i8 Dec 41, sub: Unity of Comd in Caribbean and 
Panama Coastal Frontiers. 320.2/93 (CDC) (S). (4) For Bermuda: WPD memo (S) for CofS USA, 6 Feb 
42, sub: Unity of Comd in Bermuda. Same file as (i ) this note. 

"The figures given are drawn from the following sources: (i) For officers on 24 June, immediately 
after the increase of strength on 18 June, par 2, memo (S) of Lt Col Carrington, ACofS G-i GHQ for 
Sec GS GHQ, 28 Aug 41, sub: Rcsum^ of the Orgn and Opns of GHQ. 320.2/1 (S). (2) For enlisted men, 
same date, par la, GHQ Itr to TAG, 15 Jul 41, sub: Pers Asgd to Hq Sp Trs GHQ and Hq and Hq Co GHQ. 
(3) For the other dates the figures are compiled from GHQ Rosters. 330.3. 

Memo of CofS GHQ for CG FF, 23 Jan 42, sub: Construction of Additional Office Space for GHQ. 
680.341/23. The additional office space immediately needed was created by clearing the cavalry stable of 
the AWC post. The new building, T-5, was not ready for occupancy by 9 Mar 42. The strength requested 
on 37 Jan 42 was 212 officers and 489 enlisted men. The actual strength on that date was 146 officers and 
266 enlisted men. Ltr 320.3/4 GHQ-A to TAG, 27 Jan 42, sub: Revised T/O. AGO Records. 

"The Secretary (Col Floyd L. Parks) "recommended to the Staff that in view of the limited time 
of the Chief of Staff and the Deputy Chief of Staff in offices, the Staff take final action whenever possible 
and avoid references to the Deputy or the Chief of Staff except when policy or matters of major impor- 
tance were involved. To ketfp the Chief of Staff and the Deputy Chief of Staff informed by short memos 
in matters they should know about to maintain a general background of current business." Min (S) of 
Staff Conferences, GHQ, 17 Oct 41. 337 (S). 




31 



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s ^ 

uj O 

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3^ 

^ -*>* 

^ Si 



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I? 



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< ^ :§ 



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< 

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IS 



31 



GENERAL HEADQUARTERS, 1940-42 



25 



rial to its training mission. In that month foundations for seven special staff 
sccrions, "to facilitate their immediate organization when necessary," were laid 
by obtaining the assignment to GHQ of specially qualified enlisted men.®* As 
soon as the new role of GHQ was determined, on 17 June, six officers reported 
to General McNair from WPD, War Department, led by General Malony, who 
was made Deputy Chief of Stafl.**^ In the months following, the staff was ex- 
panded and its organization was pushed to completion under the twofold stress 
of new duties growing out of the great GHQ-directed maneuvers in Louisiana 
and Carolina in September and November and of the mounting pressure of 
events abroad.^ Much energy was expended in overcoming the difficulties and 
delays attending the procurement of a large number of specially qualified offi- 
cers within the policy set by General Marshall of not assigning to GHQ offi- 
cers over fifty years old. The events of 7 December added the problems of open 
warfare. The next day GHQ was put on a 24-hour basis, and in the following 
months a fresh effort was made to bring the staff up to its full complement.*" 
With increase in numbers came a sharper division of labor. On 14 July 
GHQ was given a Headquarters Company and Special Troops.'** The four "G" 
sections and the following special sections were built up out of the previously 
informal organization: the Adjutant General, Antiaircraft, Aviation, Engineers, 
Quartermaster, Medical, and Signal. No organized staff sections for the Ar- 
mored Force, Cavalry, Field Artillery, or Infantry were ever activated, and 
Chaplains, Civilian Affairs, and Provost Marshal General sections were not 

"Pars I and 3, Itr of CofS GHQ to TAG, 9 Jan 41, sub: Enl Pcrs for Duty at GHQ USA. AGO 
Records, DCS 21 152-2. Chief Clerks were requested for the following special sections: Armd Force, OA, 
Engrs, FA, MC, QMC, and Sig C. The special sections represented by officers, in addition to the seven 
just named, were, at that time: Avn, Cav, Inf, Med, NG, and Organized Res. GHQ off memo, lo Jan 41. 
312/2 (Correspondence, Methods, Forms, etc). 

"(i) GHQ memo (S) to CG FF, 15 Sep 41, sub: Quarterly Rpt of Planning and Opns Activities 
GHQ, to include 10 Sep 41. 320.2/1 (S). (2) The officers reporting were Brig Gen H. J. Malony, Lt Col 
G. Dc L. Carrington, Lt Col George P. Hays, Lt Col E. N. Harmon, Maj L. L. Lcmnitzer, Maj A. M. 
Gnienther, Memo (S) of ACofS G-i GHQ for the Sec GS GHQ, 28 Aug 41, sub: Resume of the Orgn 
and Opns of GHQ. 320.2/1 (SS). (3) On 18 Jun Gen Malony was made DCofS, Col Carrington G-i, 
Col Clark G-3, Col Harmon G-4. GHQ SO 66, 18 Jun 41. 320.2/3/9. Shortly afterward Col Paul McD. 
Robinett, formerly Secretary of the War Etepartmcnt General Staff, became G-2. 

*^For section chiefs of the staff as reorganized after 3 July 1941, scc |roster| at end of this study. 

"4.31 A. M. [Dec 8] . . . This headquarters is open on a 24-hour basis." Diary (S), 8 Dec 41. The 
whole effort to expand the staff to authorized strength can be followed in 320.2/3, binders i and 2. 

"WD Itr AG 320.2 (6-28-41) MR-M-C, 8 Jul 41, sub: Activation of Hq Co GHQ and Sp Trs GHQ 
320.2/3/16. 



26 



ORGANIZATION OF GROUND COMBAT TROOPS 



deemed necessary/^ Representation of the Civilian Component was discon- 
tinued, and Finance, Ordnance, and Judge Advocate General sections were set 
up. In December a representative of The Inspector General was introduced and 
in January 1942 a Chemical Warfare Section was added. Liaison officers from the 
Marine Corps and Navy were attached to the staff and close relations with the 
Army Air Forces were maintained by the Aviation Section, GHQ, and through 
the Air Support Section of the Air Force Combat Command, initially located 
in GHQ. 

GHQ Activities 

How busy and many-sided General Headquarters, with all its responsibili- 
ties and interests in training, planning, and operations, had become by the fall 
of 1941 can be illustrated by a sketch of its activities during the last two weeks 
of September. By that date the headquarters had a strength of 64 officers and 
145 enlisted men. Even this expanded staff, despite long hours, found it hard to 
meet the requirements of the diverse missions with which the headquarters had 
been charged. 

The activity of GHQ as a training headquarters was at the moment domi- 
nated by the Louisiana maneuvers. General McNair and his G-3, Brig. Gen. 
Mark W. Clark, had already departed before 15 September to direct these great 
Inter-army maneuvers on which so much preparatory work undertaken at GHQ 
converged. They were joined on 24 September by General Malony, Deputy 
Chief of Staff, and were reinforced during the following days by some thirty 
officers from the headquarters in Washington," On 15 September GHQ was 
directed to prepare recommendations in the light of the maneuvers for the Field 
Manual on Air Support of Ground Forces, and by 19 September the G-3 Section 
was hard at work on this assignment. On 25 September General McNair, from 
Director Headquarters, issued instructions that the ist, 2d, and 3d Antitank 
Groups tested in the Louisiana maneuvers be sent on about i November for the 
Carolina maneuvers. 

On 22 September GHQ reported on the deficiencies in landing operations 
shown in tests of the Carib amphibious force. On the next day it was directed 
to prepare the Army components for an amphibious operation planned by the 

" GHQ Monthly Rosters. 330.3 (Scr Returns). 

"GHQ memos for Lt Col E. H. Brooks, ODCofS USA, 16 and 23 Sep, 7 Oct 41, sub: -Summary of 
Activities, GHQ. 319.1/31, 733, and 734 (Wkly Rpts of GHQ Activities). 



GENERAL HEADQUARTERS, 1940-42 27 

Joint Strategic Committee of the Army and Navy. During these weeks GHQ 
was frequently in communication with the Marine Corps regarding arrange- 
ments for the joint amphibious exercises planned for November/^ 

Meanwhile the staff officers left behind at the War College were busily 
occupied with details of the operational responsibilities of GHQ in Newfound- 
land, Greenland, and Iceland. Its first major task as an operational headquar- 
ters was completed with the safe arrival of Maj, Gen. Charles H. Bonesteers 
"Indigo'' Force in Iceland on 15 September. But matters such as additional sup- 
plies, mail service, radio frequencies, and hospital facilities for the troops in 
Iceland and elsewhere required attention from day to day. Beginning 24 Sep- 
tember GHQ had to initiate arrangements for a gradual increase of the Army 
garrison in Iceland, as ordered by the President on 22 September. On 24 Sep- 
tember GHQ became responsible for a pool of twelve counter intelligence 
officers trained by the War Department for eventual transfer to bases under 
GHQ, In the meantime arrangements were being worked out with the British 
for the establishment of a U, S. garrison in Bermuda.'* 

While handling such administrative details GHQ was pushing forv/ard its 
work on war plans. On 17 September the basic Joint Board operations plan 
adopted to meet the eventuality of war was turned over to GHQ to be worked 
out in detail. Instructions were issued at the staff conference on that date. The 
next day the whole staff assembled in the auditorium to be oriented, and a pro- 
cedure was worked out to reduce the necessary planning to routine." At the 
same time plans for relieving the British garrisons at Curasao, Aruba, and 
Surinam were in preparation, preliminary plans for the Caribbean Defense 
Command were being drawn, and the plans for a major amphibious operation 
in the Atlantic, prepared at GHQ in August^ then expanded by the War De- 

" (i) WD Itr AG 062.11 PM (9-9-41) PC-C, 15 Sep 41, sub: Combined Tests to Develop Doctrine 
and Methods for Avn Support of Grd Trs. 461/179. (2) Min (S) of Staff Conferences, GHQ, 19 Sep 41. 
337 (S). (3) Ltr of Gen McNair to CG Third Arnny, 25 Sep 41^ sub: GHQ Provisional Antitank Trs. 353/15 
(AT). (4) GHQ ltr (C) to ACofS WPD, 22 Sep 41, sub: Correction of Deficiencies in Landing Opns. 
354.1/37 (Carib) (C). (5) WD Itr (S) AG 353 (9-3-41) MC-E, 23 Sep 41, sub: Tng of ist Div and 
Supporting Arnny Units for Landing Opns. 353/1 (AFAF) (S). (6) Diary (S) GHQ. 314.81 (S). (7) Min 
(S) of Stafl Conferences, 23 JuI-31 Oct 41. 337 (S). 

These statements arc based on the Diary, GHQ (S) (314.81 (S)) and Min (S) of Staff Conferences, 
GHQ. 23 Jul 41 to 31 Oct 41 (337) (S). 

(i) Diary (S), 17 Sep 41. 314.81 (S). (2) Min (S) of Staff Conferences, GHQ, 17 Sep 41. 337 (S). 
(3) GHQ nnenno (S) of Lt Col Lcmnitzer for the Sec GS GHQ, 17 Dec 41, sub: Major Activities of the G-3 
Sec during Period 10 Sep-io Dec 41. 320.2/1 (S). 



i 



•r 

I 



o 

.1 

I 




GENERAL HEADQUARTERS, 1940-42 29 

partment, were completed and distributed/* On 17 September GHQ was di- 
rected to cooperate in tiie execution of Navy Western Hemisphere Plan No. 4, 
issuing appropriate instructions to the commanders in Bermuda, Greenland, 
Newfoundland, and Iceland." On 20 September a plan for reorganizing the 
antiaircraft installations in Greenland was completed, and on i October a direc- 
tive was issued to the commanding officer, Col. Benjamin F. Giles, who had 
been at GHQ on special duty since 15 September.''* On 26 September plans for 
using the United States Army Moving Picture Service in all the bases but Iceland 
were finished/^ 

In these weeks GHQ still anticipated that the Caribbean Defense Com- 
mand, the Alaskan Defense Command, the Hawaiian Department, and the 
Philippines would be put under its jurisdiction. Although it had been expected 
since August that these transfers would be made before the end of September, 
the dates were undetermined on the i5th.^ Consequently the staff worked in a 
state of uncertainty as to when the scope of its duties might be greatly extended.*^ 
Short of personnel, with many officers absent on maneuvers, and having to be 
prepared for the contingency of expansion, GHQ was engaged in a continuous 
search for additional officers — an effort attended by delays and disappoint- 
ments.*^ On the other hand, during these same weeks a WPD study proposing 
to reduce the responsibilities of GHQ was being debated. The records leave an 
impression of urgent activity accompanied by a growing sense of instability. 

The busiest period for GHQ came after Pearl Harbor. At that time, in addi- 
tion to its other duties, GHQ had the task of deploying available forces to secure 
the continental United States, Alaska, and the Panama Canal Zone against 

" Min and Diary cited above. 

"WD Itr (S) AG 381 (9-15-41) MC-E-M, 17 Sep 41, sub: Navy Western Hemisphere Defense Plan 
No 4, AGO Records. 381 (NWHD Plans) (S). 

" (i) Memo (S) 319.1-Gcn-F of Gen McNair for CO FF, 21 Dec 41, sub: Quarterly Rpt of Planning 
and Opns Activities, GHQ, to include 10 Dec 41. 320.2/1 (S). (2) GHQ Itr (S) 320.2 CBC-C to Col. B. F. 
Giles, 4 Oct 41, sub: Comd of USA Units in Greenland. AGO Records, WPD 4173-126 (S). (3) GHQ memo 
for Lt Col Hyssong, 23 Sep 41, sub: Activities of GHQ for Week Ending 23 Sep 41. 3 19. 1/32 (Wkly Rpts 
of GHQ Activities). 

" Diary (S), GHQ, 23 Sep 41. 314.81 (S). 
Min (S) of Staff Conferences, GHQ, 6 and 7 Aug, 4 and 15 Sep 41. 337 (S). 

" See belowr, [Section x] General Malony reported to the GHQ staff on 8 Sep : "I am urging quick 
decision on the paper, Subject: 'Enlargement of the Functions of GHQ* before the Chief of Staff departs on 
maneuvers/' Min (S) of Staff Conferences, GHQ. 337 (S). 

(i) GHQ memo to TAG, 17 Sep 41, sub: Additional Off? for GHQ. (2) GHQ memo for ACofS G-i 
WD, 6 Sep 4i» sub: Additional Offs for GHQ. (3) WD Itr AG 310.61 Gen Staff (9-18-41), 2 Oct 41, sub; 
Additional Offs for GHQ. 320.2/3/68. 



30 



ORGANIZATION OF GROUND COMBAT TROOPS 



another Pearl Harbor. It also had to take up the redoubled burden of training 
under the January 1942 program, which was to bring the strength of the ground 
forces alone to 1,760,000 by December 1942.^^ To meet the immediate danger of 
attack, airplanes, antiaircraft units, and ground troops were rushed under GHQ 
direction to the Pacific Coast and Panama. 

The movement of three infantry divisions to the West Coast was started 
on 14 December. Air reinforcements were flown through Mexico, and antiair- 
craft units were moved by sea to strengthen the Panama Canal Zone. Alaska 
was reinforced to frustrate a possible Japanese attack on Dutch Harbor. By 17 
December the critical areas on both the Atlantic and Pacific Coasts had been 
covered with a reasonable degree of protection against air attack. The relation 
of GHQ to this effort was regularized with the activation of the Western and 
Eastern Theaters of Oper-ations on 14 and 24 December under GHQ control. 
During the spring of 1942 GHQ was more active than ever in planning and 
organizing task forces for immediate offensives that might be undertaken and 
busy preparing units to reinforce the British Isles and the outposts of the Carib- 
bean Defense Command, Despite these added burdens GHQ had to devote 
more and more of its energies to the task of expanding the armies at home for the 
eventual offensive against the Nation's enemies in Europe and the Far East. 



The Split within GHQ between Training Functions 
and Operational Functions 

Because of the twofold nature of the responsibilities delegated to GHQ, 
almost all sections of its staff had both training functions and planning and 
operational functions after 3 July 1941. Each section was in effect, as General 
Malony remarked, "split down the middle" into a training branch and an 
operational branch. (See phart No. 3.^^) This split threatened to destroy the 



solidity of the organization,*** On 8 December 194 1 a reorganization was effected 
which gave formal recognition to the division within each section. At the same 
time a G-5 Section of eleven officers was added to devote its whole attention 

•"Recapitulation (C), Troop Unit Basis for Mobilization and Trairiing, Jan 42, p. 48. AGF Plans Sec 
Records (C). 

** Chart found in 320.2/3/43. 

"General Malony*s memo on the subject read: "Consequendy there is no solidity in the organization. 
There arc no promouonal prospects for staff heads. G-3 (Operations) is the worst sufferer." Par ^b, memo 
of Gen Malony, DCofS GHQ for CofS GHQ, 5 Dec 41, sub: GHQ Orgn. 320.2/3/108. 



GENERAL HEADQUARTERS, 1940-42 



31 



to training. General Clark, until then 0-3, was made chief of this section and 
also Deputy Chief of Staff for Training/® General Malony retained his title of 
Deputy Chief of Staff. 

The separation of training and operational personnel was made to increase 
the functional efficiency of the staff. It was represented as a step taken in com- 
pliance with the directive that GHQ should be so organized that its training 
function could be readily transferred to the War Department.*^ It was also 
designed to ease a tension developing within the staff between General Malony 
and General Clark and those who represented their respective points of view. 
Undoubtedly, personalities and the strain of a crisis that seemed desperate played 
their part. But the conflict was fundamentally one of views regarding the primary 
mission of GHQ. General Malony was intent on making GHQ the agency 
which the expanding War Department needed for "quick action" in directing 
the forces it was deploying,®^ General Clark, who had distinguished himself as 
Deputy Director of the great army maneuvers in Louisiana, was intent on de- 
veloping the original mission of GHQ as the means of training the ground 
forces for future offensives. The two Deputies had growing as well as diverse 
responsibilities which tended to make heavy demands on the resources of the 
whole staff. General McNair's deep interest in training eventually combined 
with the reorganization which the War Department was planning to determine 
the fate of GHQ, When this reorganization went into effect on 9 March 1942, 
it was not the training functions but the operational functions of GHQ that 
were transferred to the War Department. The functions of GHQ as an agency 
for training the ground army were delegated to General McNair as commander 
of the Army Ground Forces. 

••GHQ GO 2, 8 Dec 41, sub: Change in Orgn of GHQ USA. 320.2/3/1 19. The creation of G-5 Sec 
was authorized 2 Feb. ist ind TAGO. 2 Feb 42, to CG FF AWC on GHQ memo for ACofS G-i WD, 11 
Dec 41, sub: Expansion of GHQ. 320.2/3/140. The division of duties between G-3 and G-5 is defined in 
memo for all Staff Sees GHQ, 31 Jan 42, sub: Staff Functions G-3, G-5, with background recommendations 
from G-3» G-5, and Gen McNair. 320.2/3/153, 

"GHQ off memo, 18 Dec 41, sub: Operating Procedure with Respect to the Increased Functions and 
Responsibilities of GHQ. 312.1 1/15, See also par 2, WD Itr (R) (6-19-41) MC-E-M, 3 Jul 41, sub: Enlarge- 
ment of Functions of GHQ. 320.2/3/34. 

** "Gen Marshall wants GHQ to be an agency for quick action." Min (S) Staff Conferences, GHQ, 17 Oct 
41. 337 (S)* 



II. The Administration of 
Training 

Authority of GHQ over Training 

The directive of 26 July 1940 establishing GHQ assigned to it "supervision 
and direction" over the training of all tactical elements in the Army. This respon- 
sibility was retained even after the reorganization of 3 July 1941, when its super- 
vision over air training was limited to combined air-ground training exercises. 
While command and planning functions after July 1941 were supervised mainly 
by the Deputy Chief of Staff, General Malony, the attention of General McNair 
remained centered on training. This training mission was the task left for the 
Army Ground Forces to carry forward after 9 March 1942.^ 

GHQ, as the agency charged with the training of the tactical forces, carried 
out its program in cooperation with the arms and services, the corps areas, and 
other agencies created from time to time after its activation. Important among 
these new agencies were the replacement training centers, which began to receive 
and train selectees on i March 1941 under the supervision of the chiefs of arms 
and services; ^ the officer candidate schools, ten of which were opened in July 
1941, under the same supervision;^ the Antiaircraft Training Center, activated 
14 February 1941;* the Provisional Parachute Group, set up in the summer of 
1941; the Tank Destroyer Tactical and Firing Center, activated i December 
1941; and die Amphibious Force, Atlantic Fleet, and the Amphibious Force, 
Pacific Fleet, which took shape in the latter half of 1941. 

GHQ, unlike Army Ground Forces, did not, strictly speaking, exercise 
command over training. It supervised, directed, interpreted, and coordinated. 
But General McNair, though merely acting for General Marshall, the Command- 
ing General of the Field Forces, and consequently only a staff officer, was invested 

'(1) V/D Itr AG 320.2 (7-25-42) M-Ret-M-OCS, 26 Jul 40, sub: GHQ. 320.2/3/1. (2) WD itr 
AG 320.2 (6-19-41) MC-E-M to CofS GHQ, 3 Jul 41, sub: Enlargement of Functions of GHQ. 
320.2/3/34. (3) Memo of DCofS GHQ for CofS GHQ, 5 Dec 41, sub: GHQ Orgn. 320.2/3/108. 

* **. , . under present plans, . . . reception and training of the Selective Service personnel will com- 
mence about March i, 1941.** Par i, WD Itr AG 320.2 (12—13-40), 31 Dec 40, sub: Activation of Hq 
Repl Centers. 320.2/99, For the types and locations of these Centers, sec Chart 7, Biennial Report, 
CofS, 1 941. 

•chart 8, Biennial Report, CofS, 1941. *Sec 420.2/16. 



GENERAL HEADQUARTERS, 1940-42 



33 



with authority that goes with command. He was made responsible for the success 
or failure of the training program. 

When GHQ was created it took over the administration of the established 
training program as outlined in the War Department Training Directive for 
1940-41, published on 2 March 1940.* This directive announced that "the primary 
objective is to prepare units to take the field on short notice at existing strength, 
ready to function effectively in combat." Among the subjects specified for 
emphasis, were leadership, mobility, teamwork by combined arms, and defense 
against aircraft and mechanized troops, together with training of the National 
Guard and Organized Reserves. GHQ accepted this program and at first ex- 
ercised little influence on the elaboration of new plans. For example, when the 
Office of the Chief of Staff asked General McNair on 17 August 1940 to suggest 
additions to a list of subjects proposed for study in the light of the military crisis 
in Europe, the list was already so complete in the opinion of General McNair 
that he added only remarks on equipment * 

State of Training in August ig^o 

The first coordinated staff work of GHQ developed out of the August 
maneuvers of 1940. The whole staff of seven officers prepared detailed criticisms 
of the maneuvers for General McNair,^ who combined them into a draft letter 
to the army commanders* submitted to General Marshall on 5 September 1940 * 
and published 7 January 194 1 in substantially its original form. This letter de- 
scribed the condition of the Army as General McNair saw it shortly after taking 
charge at GHQ. He summarized the shortcomings in training as follows: 

1. Obviously deficient training of small units and in minor tactics. 

2. Faulty employment of the infantry division and of its combat teams. 

3. Failure fully to appreciate the purpose of motor vehicles and exploit their 
capabilities, 

4. Inadequate reconnaissance and lack of contact between adjacent units. 

5. Inadequate support of infantry by division artillery. 

6. Faulty signal communications, 

7. Too passive employment of antitank guns. 

" WD Itr AG 353 (12-28--39) M-MC, 3 Mar 40, sub: WD Tng Dir for 1940-41. 353/1. 
*'(i)-Mcmo DCS 21157-3 of Lt Col Orlando Ward for Gen "McNair, 17 Aug 40, sub; Suggested 
Studies for Tnjf. 353/35. (2) Memo of Gen McNair for Col Ward, 5 Sep 40,353/36, 
^ Sec 354.2/1-8. 

'GHQ draft of Itr to Army Comdrs, 5 Sep 40, sub: Comments on Army Maneuvers 1940. 354.2/17. 



34 



ORGANIZATION OF GROUND COMBAT TROOPS 



8. Improper employment of horse cavalry, 

9. Neglect of ammunition supply and evacuation of wounded, 
10. Unreal situations due to faulty umpiring. 

Except for points 8 and 9, these proved to be persistent faults, to be repeatedly 
pointed out as time went on, Tl:ieir correction became a major concern of GHQ 
in its supervision of training. 

Observers from the National Guard Bureau at the August maneuvers agreed 
fully with the conclusions of GHQ.^ Moreover, speaking of the National Guard 
divisions, they added that 20 percent of the staff and divisional officers were not 
qualified, that the troops needed squad and platoon problems rather than division 
and corps problems, and that all troops required at least three months' basic 
training. It was evident that little progress had yet been made toward fulfillment 
of the broad aims of the War Department Training Directive of 2 March, Much 
work remained to be accomplished. 

Preparation for the Citizen Army 

Imperfect as they were, these units had to serve as a nucleus for the future 
Army of the United States. With the adoption of Selective Service and the induc- 
tion of the National Guard, GHQ faced the problem of turning the able-bodied 
male population of the country into soldiers. Existing field service regulations 
provided the tactical doctrine to which the new men were to be introduced. 
Technical manuals described the care and employment of equipment. On 9 
August 1940 the War Department initiated a series of training circulars to keep 
the Army abreast of current developments pending the publication of new or 
reedited training and technical manuals.^^ Training Circular No. 2, dated 10 
September 1940, briefly outlined the instruction to be given to inducted men. 
Mobilization Training Programs (MTP*s) specified in more detail the 13-week 
Basic training to be given in various branches of the service, 

GHQ interpreted these directives to army commanders and provided means 
to faciUtate and coordinate the execution of the policies laid down. The initial 
GHQ training directive,^^ which remained basic until January 1941, was sent to 
the army commanders on 16 September 1940, the day on which President Roose- 

*Ltr Nad Guard Bur to TAG, 20 Sep 40, jub; Report of Observers Attending August Maneuvers. 
354.2/1 a. 

" Tng Cir i, WD, 9 Aug 40. 

"Ltr <rf Gen McNair to Army Comdrs, 16 Sep 40, sub: Tng. 353/1 (Tng Dirs). 



GENERAL HEADQUARTERS, 1940-42 



35 



velt signed the Selective Service Bill and the first National Guard units were 
inducted. The GHQ directive combined the ideas of the dozen officers who by 
that time composed the GHQ staff, but in its final form it bore the strong imprint 
of General McNair, It stated in substance : 

1. The Army, to prepare for national defense, justify Selective Service, and win the 
respect of selectees and the confidence of the public, must give the best possible training in 
the year allowed without compromise as to quality, 

2. Leadership must be demonstrated by success in the training of individuals and imits 
and be recognized by promotion, 

3. Centralization of training methods, because of the shortage of qualified instructors, 
would be necessary and would be achieved through 

a. Replacement Training Centers prescribed by the War Department, where 
selectees would normally receive their basic training according to MTP's. 

b. Divisional troop schools, in which battalion and company instructors would 
first learn what they had to teach. 

4. Responsibility for the results of training and for planning of details in applying 
general directives or adapting them to local conditions rested direcdy upon commanding 
officers of all units, "Planning and preparation of training is a function of command." 

5. Tests of results would be given "in appropriate form by higher commands of all 
echelons up to and including General Headquarters." 

For further coordination of the training program General McNair directed 
in letters of 26 and 29 September that copies of training directives issued by 
subordinate units be submitted to GHQ." 

The National Guard divisions presented a special problem. Inducted into 
Federal service between September 1940 and March 1941, they varied greatly in 
quality, but all needed assistance. They' swamped the training centers, where 
firing ranges, maneuver areas, and other facilities were inadequate for the in- 
creased demands. To help adjust the old installations to the new manpower, 
GHQ sent out on 15 October a chart modifying the MTP s, showing alternative 
sequences for the 13-week basic program.^^ In addition. General McNair estab- 
lished a policy of visiting in person, accompanied by members of his staff, the 
commanding officer and the staff of each National Guard division at the time 
of its induction." 

" (i) GHQ Itr to CG$, 26 Sep 40, sub: Tng Dirs. (a) GHQ Itr to Army Comdrs, 29 Oct 40, sub: 
Tng Programs. Both in 353/47. 

" Ltr of Gen McNair to Army Comdrs, 15 Oct 40, sub: Tng under MTP's. With attached charts. 
353/3 (Tng Dirs). 

^Ltr of Gen McNair to First (Second, Third, Fourth) Army, 10 Dec 40. sub: Contacts with Non- 
Inducted Divs. 353/123. 



36 



ORGANIZATION OF GROUND COMBAT TROOPS 



On these occasions he discussed frankly the problems facing the Army and 
pointed out shortcomings. For example, during the visit to the 30th Division 
on 27-28 September, General McNair and his staff were favorably impressed by 
the personal qualities of the commanding general, but found the chief of staff 
unqualified and G-3 in a temporary daze. "We devoted our time actively," wrote 
General McNair a few weeks later, "to showing the division staff and subordinate 
commanders how to start in planning training .... The idea of centralized 
training, with special instruction of instructors beforehand was entirely new to 
them, so that it was impossible to ascertain how effectively they would be able to 
institute and execute such a system. During our visit they were simply at 'Drill' — 
blind leading the blind, and oflScers generally elsewhere." Experience of this 
kind led General McNair to recommend on 9 November that National Guard 
units train for at least two months before receiving selectees,^* Such a procedure 
was necessary in view of the extreme inadequacy of provisions made for the field 
training of the larger units of the National Guard in time of peace. 

For the education of divisional staff officers, present and prospective, the 
Command and General Staff School at Fort Leavenworth opened the first of a 
series of special 2-month courses on 2 December 1940. The first class consisted 
of 54 National Guard, 11 Reserve, and 31 Regular Army officers. Instruction was 
carried on in conferences centering around staff problems. Each student special- 
ized in that section of the General Staff for which his commanding officers had 
designated him." 

General McNair indicated his conception of general staff work for a division 
in training in a letter, dated 9 December, to Brig. Gen. Edmund L. Gruber, his 
successor as Commandant at the Command and General Staff School. Citing 
experience already gained with newly inducted divisions, he inclosed detailed 
comments on the functions of staff officers. The "G's" of National Guard divi- 
sions had had litde chance to do their work in peacetime. G-i, said General 
McNair, should know the published Army doctrine on personnel and morale 
and should perform in person such duties as the inspection of divisional post 
oflBces and kitchens. The job of G-2 was to supervise public relations, provide 
maps, etc., but principally to train the division in combat intelligence. To G-3 
fell the administration of the training program, the supervision of physical con- 

" Personal Itr of Gen McNair to Maj Gen W. C. Short, 23 Oct 40. 320.2/21 (GHQ Army and Corps). 
"Memo of Gen McNair for G-3 WD, 9 Nov 40, sub: Period between Induction and Receipt of 
Trainees, 324.71/8 (SS Men). 

" Ltr of Comdt C&GSS to TAG, 4 Feb 41, sub: Rpt Sp Course End i Feb 41. 352/2 (C&GSS). 



GENERAL HEADQUARTERS, 1940-42 



37 



ditioning, the assignment of new weapons, the operation of divisional troop 
schools, and the conduct of tests set by the commanding general. G-3 was 
advised to get into the field, not stay at the office, G-4 was urged to learn thor- 
oughly the procedure for obtaining supplies at all levels and from all agencies. 
Lack of knowledge in this field might easily become a frequent cause of shortage, 
waste, and delay " 

The basic training of recruits under Selective Service did not, as such, come 
under the direct supervision of GHQ, which dealt with organized tactical units 
of the field forces. This division of labor, however, could not be carried out at 
first because of the shortage of Army housing. Before April 1941, when the 
construction program caught up with the plans of the War Department, selectees 
were assigned immediately to tactical units.^' After that date they received their 
thirteen weeks' basic training at replacement training centers, which were outside 
the jurisdiction of GHQ, being under the corps area commanders and the chiefs 
of branches. From April until after the declaration of war, divisions and other 
units filled their ranks with enlisted men from replacement training centers.^° 
Most of the officers came from the National Guard and Officers' Reserve Corps, 
since the output of the officer candidate schools, established in July 1941, re- 
mained quantitatively negligible until 1942. 

In the closing months of 1940 General McNair began to make clear the 
spirit in which his headquarters interpreted the training of the Army. His desire 
to keep the troops active became evident in his opposition to the reduction of 
the 44-hour training week, which was nevertheless decided upon by the War De- 
partment, and in his order of 25 November that men lacking new equipment 
should train with such equipment as they had.^^ His insistence on "pick-and- 
shovel work" was illustrated by his comments on a 3-volume manuscript on 
infantry tactics. While he considered this lengthy manual to be of long-run 
educational value, he called it "a book for the study, not the field," inappropriate 

" "Comments Coricerninf; Staff Functioning," 9 Dec 40, enclosed with Itr of Gen McNair to Gen 
Gruber, same date, same sub, 352/1 (C&GSS). 

WD Itr AG 324.71 (8-28-40) M-A-M, 10 Sep 40, sub: Reception of SS Men. 324.71/1 (SS 
Men). (2) Memo of G-i GHQ for CofS GHQ, 23 Oct 40, sub: Recpn Ccns. 320.2/24 (GHQ Armies and 
Corps). 

^ (i) WD Itr AG 320.2 (12-13-40) M (Ret) M-C, 31 Dec 40, sub: Activation of Hq, Rcpl Cens. 
320.2/99. (2) WD Itr AG 324.71 (8-20-41) ER-A to CofS GHQ, 12 Sep 41, sub: Policy for the 
Procurement of Pers for RTC's, 324.71/89 (SS Men), 

" (i) Memo of Gen McNair for ACofS G-3 WD, 7 Nov 40, sub: 44-Hour Week of MTP's. 353/59. 
Sec also 353/83,/84>/99. (2) Ltr of Gen McNair to CGs, 25 Nov 40, sub: Tng with the M-i Rifle. 
356/6 (Tng Diis). 



38 



ORGANIZATION OF GROUND COMBAT TROOPS 



in the circumstances." The views that were to govern his policy toward army 
schools were expressed in his nonconcurrence with a War Department proposal 
of territorial schools for motor mechanics. "Under present conditions," he 
wrote, "the primary objective must be the development of field force units, 
trained and ready for field service, in a minimum of time. The detachment of 
officers and enlisted men for special schooling must be held to a minimum — 
which is not the case at present." He added that existing units, posts, and quarter- 
master depots afforded adequate means for the training of motor mechanics/^ 
He was willing to make use of existing schools in what he considered their ap- 
propriate functions, as shown by his interest in the new staff officer course at 
Fort Leavenworth. Again, when the question arose of preparing a typical 
standard operating procedure for the guidance of newly inducted divisions, he 
recommended that the matter be turned over to the service schools.^* 

General Proficiency versus Specialism in the New Army 

The ever increasing threat to national security raised the question whether 
the Army should be immediately trained to form task forces for special mis- 
sions. Special training programs, projected or in progress at the end of 1940, 
included amphibious training, air-ground tests, and training for operations in 
mountain, jungle, and arctic conditions. General McNair consistently opposed 
these forms of specialism if they were carried to a point where they might 
endanger the unity of the Army or its fundamental soldierly fitness. On 10 March 
194 1 he wrote to the commanding general of the 3d Division, which for some 
time had been practicing amphibious operations at Fort Lewis, advising the 
division commander not only to continue with basic training but also to consider 
it more important than amphibious specialization. "Even though landing is the 
first step, success presumably will come only from skill in combat." 

A memorandum of 16 January 1941 to General Marshall made the same 
point in more general terms.^ It is quoted in full as an explicit statement of 
governing policies at GHQ in an early and formative period in the creation of 
the national army. 

"Personal Itr of Gen McNair to Col W. R. Whcclcr, 5 Dec 40. 353/116. 

"Memo oi Gen McNair for ACofS G-3 WD, 5 Nov 40, sub: Territorial Sch for Motor Mechanics. 
352.01/8, 

"*Mcmo of Gen McNair for ACofS G-3 WD, 6 Dec 40, sub: SOP. 353/118. 
"Personal Itr (C) of Gen McNair to Maj Gen C. F. Thompson, 10 Mar 41. 353/1 (C). 
"Memo of Gen McNair for Gen Marshall, 16 Jan 41, sub: Specialized Tng. 353/136. 



GENERAL HEADQUARTERS, 1940-42 



39 



Memorandum for General Marshall: 

My reactions to the inclosed discussion, "Specialized Training in the Training Phase 
of the Military Program," arc: 

1. If it is to be inferred from this paper that our organization is obsolete, that wc 
should be concentrating on specialized task forces rather than integrated large units — I 
disagree. Our Army "on order" is modern according to current lessons — except for its 
antitank defense. 

2. The first phase stated — expansion — now is conflicting with the second phase — 
training — ^but nevertheless expansion should go on until wc have an adequate force in 
being. Interference with training must be accepted as unavoidable now, although it will 
diminish later as adequate zone of interior establishments are developed. 

3. Training must be progressive. Basic and small-unit training can not be slighted. 
Combined training in its many modern forms is essential for all units. Finally the coordinated 
and smooth action of large units is indispensable if we envision decisive operations on a 
National scale. These steps are the foundation of military efficiency — today even as yester- 
day. They can be hurried and slighted only at a price. Germany devoted years to this phase. 
Her special traming for Norway probably was given last winter, after thorough general 
training as a foundation. 

4. The need for specialized training such as recommended is not questioned, but it 
should follow — not precede — the basic and general training indicated. Exceptions of course 
would be those cases of special training demanded by the international situation, such as 
the occupation of outlying air bases. 

5. I incline to criticize, however, the present test at Fort Benning of air-ground coopera- 
tion, as being premature. It interrupts current and essential training and no air units will 
be available to carry it out on a full scale earlier than August 1941. Again, stationing divisions 
in cold climates at this time is open to question, since general traming is retarded. The 
National Guard divisions particularly would be better off in the South, where they could 
train effectively. It is believed now that next winter would have been a better time for such 
special training, although it is appreciated that the situation may have appeared quite 
different six months or more ago. 

6. Subject to compelling international developments, I favor the following general 
policy: 

a* The most rapid possible expansion of our armed forces to a size adequate for 
our prospective role in world affairs. 

Then a sound, methodical program of basic and general training at least through 
the summer of 1941 to include inter-army maneuvers. 

€, Then, for those units which demonstrate satisfactory general training, special 
Uaining to meet the various missions set up by the color plans of the War Department. 

7. In other words, I do not question the need of special training, but believe that in 
general its priority is below both expansion and sound general training, and that such special 
training should be minimized until the fall of 1941, perhaps later. 



40 



ORGANIZATION OF GROUND COMBAT TROOPS 



The principles announced in paragraphs 3, 6a, and 6b were being worked 
out at GHQ at the time this memorandum was written. A "sound, methodical 
program," a sequence of basic and small-unit training, combined training, and 
large-unit training, was ready for promulgation in January 1941, 

Large-Unit Training and Testing 

With the turn of the year GHQ discussed the program which was to follow 
the basic training nearly completed by some of the troops. On 4 January 1941 
a letter was sent to the army commanders prescribing after basic training thir- 
teen to sixteen weeks of combined training, i. e., coordination of the various 
weapons of the regiment and the division. Command post exercises, field exer- 
cises, and field maneuvers were ordered. All field maneuvers were to be free. 
The commander was given only the objectives and was made responsible for 
achieving them with the means at his disposal. Avoidance of artificiality was 
recommended for all exercises. An immediate critique of each exercise was 
required of each commanding officer as a necessary step in instruction. Definite 
problems were set for the training of regimental and brigade combat teams 
and for the field exercises and maneuvers of divisions.'^ 

In World War I American troops had received no training in units higher 
than the division before going overseas. The establishment in 1932 of four 
armies comprising nine army corps furnished the framework for training above 
the division level. In January 1941 General McNair made plans to complete the 
conversion of these large but shadowy bodies into effective combat organiza- 
tions. On 7 January he sent to the army commanders his comments on maneu- 
vers, drafted in the preceding September and summarized above. He chose this 
moment because he judged that his views would make their maximum impres- 
sion with the entrance upon large-unit training. He continued on 15 January 
with another letter to army commanders on "Corps and Army Training," 
which was to be put into effect after the combined training order on 4 January. 
Each corps was to train for a period of one to two months under direction of 
its army commander. After command post and field exercises, the corps was to 
engage in a field maneuver against either another corps or one of its own 
divisions. It was hoped that this corps training might be finished by June 194 1. 
Armies would then train as units. Army training remained under army com- 

" Ltr of Gen McNair to Army Comdrs, 4 Tan 41, sub; Combined Tng. 353/13 (Tng Dirs). 



GENERAL HEADQUARTERS, 1940-42 4I 

manders, except that the final field maneuvers of entire armies would be 
directed by GHQ. General McNair stipulated that corps training should be, and 
army training might be, interrupted by periods of training for divisions and 
smaller units.^' 

The necessity of maintaining the integrity of the tactical unit in training, 
in maneuvers, and in battle was frequently emphasized at GHQ. Integrity of 
the unit heightened morale, clarified responsibility, and preserved maximum 
striking power. One danger to unit integrity was the detachment of personnel 
for attendance at schools. General McNair therefore favored a maximum use 
of troop schools within divisional and other units. Another danger to unit 
integrity was the recent tendency to employ infantry-artillery combat teams as 
quasi-permanent tactical bodies instead of as temporary groupings for specific 
missions. This tendency threatened to disintegrate the division. General McNair 
protested that the division was'itsclf the paramount combat team and chief 
fighting unit of the Army. When it was brought to his attention that faulty 
combat-team doctrine was taught in the course at Fort Benning, he arranged 
through the Chief of Infantry to have the matter corrected. He attributed the 
excessive use of combat teams to the inability of higher commanders to manage 
as large an organization as the division. In 1941 he noted some improvement 
in this respect.*^ 

It was a policy of GHQ that all units should be tested as they completed 
successive stages of their training. For armies and corps the tests took the form 
of maneuvers directed by higher headquarters. In lower units General McNair 
found a persistent disinclination of higher commanders to administer the neces- 
sary tests. "The troops suffer correspondingly," he wrote. "We now have plenty 
of money and plenty of higher commanders, and it is time to bestir ourselves 
in this connection " On 4 March 1941, referring back to the principle of com- 
mand responsibility set forth in the directive of 16 September 1940, GHQ 
instructed army and corps commanders to conduct tests of their divisions and 
separate units and to report the findings to GHQ.^* 

"(i) Ltr of Gen McNair to Army Comdrs, 7 Jan 41, sub: Comments on Army Maneuvers, 1940. 
354.2/17. (3) Ltr of Gen McNair to CGs, 15 Jan 41, sub: Corps and Army Tng. 353/15 (Tug Dirs), 

(i) Memo of Gcti McNair for ACofS G-3 WD, 4 Nov 40. Tab B in AGO 353 TC 10, WD, 26 
Nov 40. AGO Records. (2) Memo of Gen McNair for Cofinf, 10 Apr 41, sub: Teaching of the Inf Sch, 
vi^ith related documents. 352/6 (Inf). (3) Memo of Gen McNair for CofS USA, 21 Oct 41, sub: Rpt by 
CofFA. 354.2 (Rpts 1941) (S). (4) Memo of Gen McNair for ASW, 12 Feb 42i sub: Tng Sch for the 
Combined Arms. McNair Correspondence. 

■*(!) Personal ltr of Gen McNair to Brig Gen E. L. Grubcr, i Mar 41. 354.2/18. (2) Ltr of Gen 
McNair to Army Comdrs, 4 Mar 41, sub: Tng Tests. 353/1 (Tng Dirs), 



42 



ORGANIZATION OF GROUND COMBAT TROOPS 



GHQ itself was not sedentary. Weekly reports running from 19 February 
1941 to 9 March 1942 show that officers from GHQ were at all times in the 
field, to lend assistance, inspect, and exercise supervision. General McNair set 
the example. In the nine months preceding the declaration of war, he spent 
HI days on tours of inspection, four times reaching the Pacific Coast. War 
changed his habits. He is not reported to have left his headquarters, except once 
to address the graduating class at Fort Leavenworth, in the three months from 
Pear) Harbor to the dissolution of GHQ. Staff officers, however, continued their 
tours. For example, in the year preceding 9 March 1942, Fort Lewis, Wash., 
was visited five times by officers from GHQ; Fort Bragg, N. C., seven times; 
Fort Knox, Ky., seven times. Inspecting officers from GHQ were present at all 
large maneuvers and at field exercises and tests at which significant features 
of th e training program were under triaL^^ 

Field exercises, maneuvers, tests, and inspections brought to light grave 
deficiencies in the progress of training. In April 1941 the War Department pro- 
posed that expert "demonstration cadres" tour the training centers to exhibit 
the methods of modern war. General McNair replied that such devices had 
been used in the Second Army without notable success and that the trouble 
was not lack of knowledge in the field units, which were amply supplied with 
training literature ^nd materials, but in the inability of officers to make use 
of what was put into their hands. The cure, he said, was improvement in com- 
mand, not "artificial respiration."^* By June 1941 it was becoming doubtful 
whether many units would be well enough prepared to participate in the army 
and corps training scheduled for the summer. The failures were attributed by 
GHQ to undue haste and to the assigning of teaching functions to officers and 
noncommissioned officers not competent to give instruction. Higher command- 
ers were blamed for permitting such conditions. They were directed on 7 July 
to institute an intensive review of basic and small-unit training, to give close 
supervision to troop schools for officers and noncommissioned officers, to admin- 
ister more training tests, to secure reassignment of commanders found unsatis- 
factory, and to report to GHQ units not yet qualified to participate in further 
corps and army training." 

" "Weekly Reports of GHQ Activities." GHQ 319.1, 319.1 (C), and AGF 319.1/1. 

"Memo of Gen McNair for CofS USA, 22 Apr 41, sub: Demonstration Cadres. 320,2/153. 

"GHQ Itr to CGs Second, Third, and Fourth Armies, 7 Jul 41, sub: Review of Tng Prior to 
Further Corps and Army Tng. 353/164 (Second Army). 



GENERAL HEADQUARTERS, 194(M2 



43 



The War Department Training Directive for 1941-42, prepared in June 
but not issued until 19 August 1941, gave expression to some of the doctrines 
developed at GHQ in the past year. On General McNair's recommendation, 
in view of current changes in the air forces a clear distinction was drawn 
between air and ground troops, GHQ was to be responsible for the training of 
ground forces only and was to prepare them for eventual employment as task 
forces with flexible organization. The need of progression in training was 
emphasized. Each step in the training process was to be mastered and tested 
before the next step was imdertaken. The directive reiterated the importance 
of thorough grounding in the elements of small-unit training and of energetic 
leadership at subordinate levels of command as prerequisites to success in com- 
bined operations and in the trainmg of task forces." 

GHQ-Directed Army Maneuvers, 1941 

The results achieved by all this detailed work in supervision and direction 
were to receive their most decisive training test in the maneuvers of the four 
field armies in the summer and fall of 1941.^° In August elements of the Fourth 
Army opposed each other in the State of Washington, In September the Second 
and Third Armies were pitted against each other in Louisiana, In November 
the First Army opposed the IV Corps, reinforced by the I Armored Corps, in 
the Carolinas, GHQ directed the Louisiana and Carolina maneuvers. All 
maneuvers were free. Each commanding general, after receiving a broad tacti- 
cal mission from Director Headquarters, operated at his own discretion in 
response to changing battle conditions. At the close of each maneuver a critique 
was immediately given by General McNair as Director of the maneuvers and 
General Clark as Deputy Director. These critiques were mimeographed and 
circulated to the higher echelons of all armies. On returning to Washington, 
General McNair also sent extensive private comments to Red and Blue com- 
manders.^ General Marshall had warned against unfavorable criticism of com- 
manding generals in the presence of their subordinates." 

" (i) Memo of CofS GHQ for ACofS G-3 WD, 16 Jun 41. sub: WD Tng Dir 1941-42. 353/340. 
(2) WD Itr AG 353 (6-16-41) MT M-C to CGs, CofS GHQ, etc, 19 Aug 41, sub: WD Tng Dir 1941-42. 

"Table, *'Army Trainmg, August-November, 1941," GHQ, dated 15 Aug 41. 353/34 (Tng Din), 

"Mimeographed copies of the critiques and carbon copies of the private comments arc to be found 
in the 353 and 354.2 series in the GHQ file for the First, Second, and Third Armies and the IV Corps. 

"Memo OCS 14440-363 of CofS USA for CofS GHQ, 18 Jun 41, sub not given. 354.2/269. 



44 



ORGANIZATION OF GROUND COMBAT TROOPS 



One of the most important tasks in free maneuvers was umpiring, which 
was made especially difficult in 1941 by peacetime safety regulations, lack of 
equipment, and shortage of aviation and armored elements in proportion to 
the number of troops engaged. These maneuvers were to have all the realism 
of actual warfare except destruction and casualties, but without full equipment 
for the troops the task of umpiring was harder than ever before. 

A year earlier General McNair had ascribed many of the disappointing 
features of the August 1940 maneuvers to inadequate umpiring,^® At that time 
G-3 of the War Department prepared a draft for a new umpire manual, but 
General McNair found this publication unsatisfactory/^ He himself took over 
the responsibility of providing adequate instructions and with the aid of his 
staff sections produced a GHQ Umpire Manual in February 1941. The new 
manual eliminated most umpires at headquarters above the battalion. Umpires 
were placed in the field, accompanying moving units and marking artillery 
fires. An Aviation Supplement was added in August, Umpires for the army 
maneuvers were uained in the preceding division and corps maneuvers. 
Amendments to the manual were continually made, and it was expected that 
the army maneuvers would produce further suggestions for improvements." 

General McNair insisted at all times that the maneuvers should be carried 
out in an atmosphere resembling actual batde as nearly as possible. The new 
umpire manual represented only one step in this direction. "The truth is sought," 
General McNair wrote to the army commanders, "regardless of whether pleasant 
or unpleasant, or whether it supports or condemns our present organization 
and tactics." *^ To promote antitank training, when enough real tanks could not 
be obtained, General McNair ordered the simulation of tanks in sufficient quan- 
tity to give an accurate test. Troops had to be inured to the noise of modern 
battle, and though it was feared at GHQ that artificial noise-making might dis- 
tract attention from basic training, five sound-trucks were dispatched for this 
purpose to the GHQ-directed maneuvers in Louisiana." To achieve realism in 

"Memo of Gen McNair for Gen Marshall, 5 Sep 40, sub: Comments on Army Maneuvers, 1940, 
354.2/8. 

"Memo of Gen McNair for Sec WDGS, 13 Feb 41, sub: Draft of FM 105-5 Umpire Manual. 
461/57. 

""Umpire Manual, General Headquarters, U. S; Army, February 1941/* with supporting documents. 
353/19 (Tng Dirs). 

"Ltr of Gen McNair to CGs, 15 May 41, sub: Antitank (AT) Defense. 353/25 (Tng Dirs). 
(i) Memo of Gen McNair for Col Godfrey, WD, i Apr 41, sub: Simulating Battlefield Noises in 
Tr Tng. 353/146. (2) Memo of Gen McNair for ACofS G^3 WD, 25 Apr 41, sub: Realism in Tng. 



GENERAL HEADQUARTERS, 1940-42 



45 



combat intelligence, army commanders were cautioned against using any sources 
of information except those available under battle conditions.*^ The commander 
of the Third Army was criticized for allowing his signal officers to plan a 
$200,000 telephone pole line in preparation for maneuvers. "I submit that such 
stuff is artificial," wrote General McNair, "and suggest that you ask your staff, 
in substance, how the German army made such preparations for their cam- 
paign in Poland." ** 

The Second vs. Third Army maneuvers, held in Louisiana in September, 
involved over 350,000 men and were the largest ever conducted in the United 
States in time of peace. The Inspector General, in his report to General Marshall, 
gave a favorable verdict: "The soundness of the establishment of GHQ to super- 
vise training and to plan and conduct large maneuvers was definitely proved 
by the results obtained during the recent GHQ maneuvers. The officers assigned 
to GHQ are keen, energetic and efficient. Their work in the planning and 
handling of maneuvers was outstanding in comparison with similar groups at 
other maneuvers, and it is my belief that the policy of assigning staff officers 
not in excess of fifty years of age to that headquarters has been justified. I was 
particularly impressed with the efficiency, balance and judgment displayed by 
General Clark." The Inspector General especially commended GHQ for its 
policy of holding a free maneuvers, which, emancipating GHQ from the de- 
tails of tactical planning, had allowed it to concentrate upon the essentials of 
training, and which also, far better than a controlled maneuver, made partici- 
pants feel their own responsibility for results and allowed GHQ to appraise 
aptitude for command. "In my opinion," The Inspector General concluded, 
''General McNair and his headquarters have accomplished, and are continuing 
to accomplish, an outstanding job in the supervision of training of the Army." *° 

The success of these maneuvers consisted largely in the accuracy with 
which they drew attention to failures in training that required correction. It 
was General McNair's responsibility to point out these failures to the army 
commanders, and his observations on what had passed were less favorable than 
The Inspector General's. In the detailed written comments sent to the com- 

353/155. (3) WD Itr AG 451 (9-9-41) MO-C to CofS GHQ, lo Sep 41, sub: Use of Sound Trucks to 
Provide Realism in Maneuvers. AGO Records. 

**GHQ Itr to CG First Army, 4 Sep 41, sub: Intel Procedure during Maneuvers. 354.25/66. Similar 
letters to CGs Second, Third, and Fourth Armies, 354.25/67-69. 

** Personal Itr of Gen McNair to Lt Gen Krueger, 5 Jun 41, 354.25/2. 

"Memo of TIG for CofS USA, 16 Oct 41, sub not given, 333/6. 



46 



ORGANIZATION OF GROUND COMBAT TROOPS 



manding generals of the Second and Third Armies, faults were pointed out in 
the tactics of both, especially the committing of troops to action before recon- 
naissance had located the enemy strength. Inadequate combat intelligence, poor 
liaison and communications, dispersion of effort, and underestimation of danger 
from the air were held to be common failings. The shortcomings peculiar to each 
arm and service in both armies were noted, and suggestions were offered for 
their amendment." 

This procedure was repeated at the close of the Carolina maneuvers. On 30 
November General McNair delivered the final address at the oral critique. The 
date is significant, for his talk came after a year of Selective Service, at the com- 
pletion of the first training cycle, and a week before Pearl Harbor. He said: 

As I look back on the nation-wide series of maneuvers such as these here, and review 
the mass of comments of all kinds which have been made, certain features of the picture 
stand out, among them: 

The irrepressible cheerfulness, keen intelligence, and physical stamina of the American 
soldier. He is indeed an inspiration and a challenge to his leaders. He will follow them 
anywhere, and asks only that they bring him success and victory. 

Imperfect discipline of the type which makes the individual subordinate himself to 
the advantage of his unit, be it large or small; that is, the type which is vital for success 
in war. 

Disregard of the air threat. Columns moved closed up when experience shows beyond 
question that disaster would result under war conditions. It is clear that revision of the 
umpire manual must include putting vehicles out of action as a penalty for air attack and 
artillery fire. 

Inadequate reconnaissance and security, although there is slow improvement. 
The small proportion of units which is brought to bear against the enemy, due to 
reluctance to leave roads and column formation. 

The question is asked repeatedly, "Are these troops ready for war?" It is my judgment 
that, given complete equipment, they certainly could fight effectively. But it is to be added 
with emphasis that the losses would be unduly heavy, and the results of action against an 
adversary such as the German might not be all that could be desired. 

He added that the faults which persisted showed that finished troops could 
not be trained in one year.*^ 

*•(!> Ltr of Gen McNaLr to CG Second Army, ii Oct 41, sub: Comments on Second vs. Third 
Army Maneuvers, Sept 15-30, 1941. 353/466 (Second Army). (2) Ltr of Gen McNair to CG Third Army, 
10 Oct 41, sub as in (i) above. 353/595 (Third Army). 

""Critique of Second Phase of GHQ-directed Maneuvers, Carolina Area, November 35-28, 194 1» 
by Lt. Gen. L. J. McNair, GSC, EHrector." 354.2/30 (First Army). 



GENERAL HEADQUARTERS, 1940-42 



47 



Morale 

The maneuvers provided an occasion for observing the morale of the 
Army, which by the summer of 194 1 v^^as causing anxiety to the pubUc and 
becoming a serious problem to the higher commands. The building of a high 
morale and sound discipline had been emphasized by General Marshall on 16 
October 1940 as a principal aim in the year's training of men about to be 
inducted by Selective Service.** This aim had not been adequately fulfilled/* 
Part of the diflSculty was political, arising from disagreement among selectees 
on the national foreign policy and a resulting failure to see military training 
as a necessity."** Such political diflSculties lay beyond the power of military 
action to remove. Other sources of trouble, not easy to correct, were of a mili- 
tary nature. Letters complaining of conditions in the Army, written by soldiers 
or their parents and friends, were forwarded by the War Department to GHQ. 
General McNair sent extracts from these letters to army conamanders and 
summarized the most frequent subjects of complaint: waste of training time 
through idleness or delay; poorly planned exercises; inadequately explained 
maneuvers; lack of confidence in oflScers and of respect for noncommissioned 
oflScers who were illiterate and unintelligent; lack of opportunity for promo- 
tion; and assignment to duty not in keeping with special civilian experience. 
He commended these criticisms to the serious consideration of army com- 
manders, noting that they often were written by educated and patriotic selectees 
with constructive intent." Later, on 18 December, army commanders were 
directed to prevent such misassignments as those by which clerks became 
laborers or truck drivers hospital orderlies, a practice held by GHQ to be both 
injurious to morale and wasteful of the training given in replacement centers," 

"WD Itr AG 324.71 (9-3-40) M-A of Gen Marshall to Lt Gen Hugh A. Drum, 16 Oct 40, sub: 
Morale and Discipline, 324.71/5 (SS). Same letter to CGs other Armies, all Corps Areas, and Overseas 
Departments. 

**Sec the a-volume report (S) made in September 1941 by N. H. Railey, "Morale in the U. S. 
Army." AGO Records, 353.8 (10-14-41) (Morale in the Army), Bulky Package, Cabinet No. 10, Shelf 4 (S). 

"(0 Memo (C) MID 353.8 Welfare Activities 9-4-4i» 3 Sep 41. 353.8/1 (C). (2) Memo (C) MID 
250.1 of Lt Col R. C. Smith, G-2 WD for TAG, 26 Aug 41, sub: Morale. 353.8/3 (C). 

° Ltr of Gen McNair to all Army Comdrs and CofArmd F, 8 Sep 41, sub: Complaints from Soldiers, with 
copies of sample letters. 330.14/12 (Criticisms). 

"Ltr of Gen McNair to all Army Comdrs and CofArmd F, 18 Dec 41, sub: Misassignmcnt of Selectees 
from RTCs, 324.71/135 (SS Men). 



48 



ORGANIZATION OF GROUND COMBAT TROOPS 



Observers of maneuvers agreed that what the troops needed vi^as meaning- 
ful activity and dynamic leadership. In the presence of a real opponent, troops 
on maneuvers were found to show an improvement of morale, largely because 
they were kept busy in operations in which they sensed a purpose. In fact, the 
zeal of troops on maneuvers was noted as a cause of tactical faults, leading to 
a neglect of precautions of reconnaissance and concealment that would be fatal 
in combat. But maneuvers could not supply dynamic leadership. Instead, they 
exposed its absence,*^ 

Leadership — the Officer Problem 

The unfitness for combat leadership of many officers of all components was 
a fact well known to the War Department. In the early part of 194 1 General 
McNair frequently expressed the opinion that many officers neither had nor 
deserved the confidence of their men." To this fact the defects in morale were 
mainly ascribed. General Marshall gave this explanation in a report on morale, 
dated 30 September 1941, to the Under Secretary of War,*' Junior officers, lack- 
ing experience, had little confidence in themselves and hence failed to assume 
or discharge their proper responsibilities. The same was often true of noncom- 
missioned officers. Senior officers were often deemed unqualified for large 
commands. The opportunities to test the capacity even of senior Regular Army 
officers to command large units had been limited in the period of lean appro- 
priations since World War I. The problem of obtaining officers trained for 
combat command was complicated by the fact that a large proportion of those 
available were officers of the National Guard, who had been called to duty with 
the mobilization of their units. Many of these were over-age in grade. In June 
1941 General McNair found that 22 percent, or 771, of the first lieutenants or- 
dered to active duty in the National Guard were over 40 years old; 919 captains 
were over 45; 100 lieutenant colonels were over 55.*^ Of 17,752 officers of the 
National Guard or on duty with the National Guard units in September 194 1, 

" (i) Memo MB 353 (9-18-41) WR of Capt F. H. Weston for Lt Col Montgomery, 8 Sep 41, sub: Rpt 
of Observations Made at the Third Army Maneuvers for Period Aug 16-25, I94i- 353-8/1 (Third Army). 
(2) Memo of TIG for CofS USA, 10 Sep 41, sub: Morale. 330.14/16 (Criticisms). 

" For example, see personal Itr of General McNair to Col H. D. Chamberlin, 14 Mar 41. 353/144. 

"Memo (C) of CofS USA forUSW, stamped 30 Sep 41, sub: Morale of the Army. 353.8/1 (Morale) (C). 

"Memo (C) of Gen McNair for Gen Marshall, 18 Jun 41, sub: TIG — Leadership in the Army, with cpy 
of TIG memo. 320.2/30 (GHQ Army and Corps) (C). 



GENERAL HEADQUARTERS, 194(M2 



49 



only 65800 had had the opportunity to complete a course in one of the service 
schools, some of them many years in the past." The initial problem was to 
remove from key positions of command officers of all components who were 
too old or lacked the necessary training and standards to meet the exacting re- 
quirements of leadership in the field. As early as January 1941, a new pro- 
cedure had been provided for the reclassification of commissioned officers/^ 
But reclassification was a slow process, humiliating to the officer concerned. 
On 7 May 1941, General Marshall sought General McNair's advice" The 
problem, as General Marshall saw it, was to rid the field forces of misfits, while 
preserving the reputation and self-respect of officers, particularly in the civilian 
components, who very often through no fault of their own found themselves in 
positions which they could not filL General McNair, like General Marshall, 
was determined that the field forces should have the best possible leadership. 
He favored a sweeping policy of maximum age in grade.** After consulting his 
G-i, he immediately advised that more use be made of reassignment and resign 
nation. By this plan, the talents of senior officers regarded as unfit for command 
in the field could be utilized to the advantage of the service in administering 
fixed installations, or such officers might honorably resign from the service if 
their higher commanders certified that there was no vacancy in which they were 
needed.'' 

At first General McNair thought existing regulations sufficient to bring 
about the desired result and blamed army commanders for failure to enforce 
them. "The principal obstacle now," he wrote on 18 June to General Marshall, 
*'is that commanders lack either the guts or the discernment to act." General 
McNair wrote to Lt. Gen. Walter E, Krueger, Commander of the Third Army, 
that General Marshall had made 

crystal-clear that the reclassification of incompetent officers, regardless of grade, was exactly 
what he was exerting every efrort to bring about .... He made no distinction at all as 
between the Regular Army and the National Guard — both should be given a thorough over- 
hauling. In short, you certainly arc free to handle all cases of this kind on their merits 
without fear of embarrassing the War Department. I may go further and say that the War 
Department emphatically urges such action by army commanders. 

'" See | footnote 55.] ^ AR 605-230, 22 Jan 41, sub: Commissioned Offs: Reclassification, 
" Personal Itr (C) of Gen Marshall to Gen McNair, y May 41. 210.01/1 (C). 
**See footnotes 1 55 and 56. | 

^ (i) Memo (C) of Gen McNair for Gen Marshal!, 21 May 41, sub: Reclassification of Offs. (2) Memo 
(C) of Lt Col L. D. Brown for Gen McNair, 20 May 41, sub as in (i). Both in 210.01 (C). 



50 



ORGANIZATION OF GROUND COMBAT TROOPS 



Again, speaking of a particular case: "If such action is inadequate, it will then 
be a question what action is in order with respect to the Army commander," He 
noted that the problem was not confined to the civilian components. There were 
also unfit Regular officers, who could be dealt with only by very cumbersome 
methods. "Possibly G-i can suggest simpler procedure, or, if necessary, a new 
law;'^= 

By September General McNair had come to regard the system as at fault 
and exonerated the army commanders, "To lay the blame for failure in the 
present system upon the field commanders or on the War Department is a 
fallacy." He repeated General Marshall's observations of the preceding May that 
reclassification was too slow for the good of the Army and unfair to officers from 
the civilian components. He renewed his recommendation for the use of resigna- 
tion.*^ After the September maneuvers and before leaving the maneuver area, he 
obtained from the War Department authorization for the army commanders 
to speed up this process and avoid as far as possible embarrassment to the officers 
concerned. 

He shared, however, the anxiety of The Inspector General regarding the 
effect of a sweeping policy of relieving officers who were over-age or fell short 
of the desired standards of efficiency. Such a policy would retire from active duty 
"some Regular and a large number of National Guard officers." He did not 
approve immediate wholesale relief of National Guard officers. He observed that 
qualified Regular officers would soon be used up as replacements and doubted 
the wisdom of removing old officers before the supply of competent new ones 
was assured." The dilemma presented was difficult to solve. Officers of moderate 
capacity had to be kept on pending the training of better ones, but, if war should 
come quickly and make these officers combat leaders, disaster might result. To 
put it another way, new officers had to be trained along with the new troops 
whom they were eventually to lead in battle, but meanwhile they could not exer- 
cise mature leadership in training. At Fort Leavenworth in February 1942 Gen- 
eral McNair stated that in his view "the outstanding generalization" of a year 
o£ training experience was "that we did not have in fact the great mass of trained 

" (i) See | footnote 56.] (2) Personal Itr of Gen McNair to Lt Gen Walter Kruegcr, 18 Aug 41. McNair 
Correspondence. 

" Memo (C) of Gen McNair for CofS USA, 25 Sep 41, sub: Reclassification. 210.01/2 (C). 

•* (i) Tclg, McNair to ACofS G-i WD, 27 Sep 41. Misc Journal, G-i GHQ. (2) Memo of Gen McNair 
for Gen Marshall, 20 Oct 41, sub: Leadership Deficiencies — Repls, 333/5. (3) Memo of TIG for CofS USA, 9 
Oct 41, sub and location as in (2) above. 



GENERAL HEADQUARTERS, 194(M2 5 1 

oflScers that were carried on the books .... Inadequately trained oflScers cannot 
train troops effectively." 

Reempkasis on Essentials 

Training operations after the September maneuvers were prescribed in a 
letter of 30 October 1941 on "Post-Maneuver Training"" While the training 
of "task forces with flexible organizations" was indicated for the future as in 
keeping with the War Department Training Directive of 19 August, for the 
inunediate present General McNair demanded a return to fundamentals. 
"Recent maneuvers and field exercises have shown glaring weaknesses in basic 
and small-unit training. ... It is apparent that mobilization training as 
covered in mobilization training programs has not been mastered." He ordered, 
therefore, that after a short period of furloughs a four months' review of basic 
and small-unit training be held. Combat firing was to be emphasized, with 
observers from GHQ in attendance. Army and corps commanders were to 
conduct field-exercise tactical tests of infantry battalions and cavalry squadrons, 
with artillery delivering actual overhead fire when feasible. G)mmand post 
exercises were ordered for the training of headquarters and communications 
units and troop schools to prepare officers and noncommissioned officers for 
current training. With this directive were enclosed exact stipulations of the 
tests prescribed, from the platoon up to the battalion. 

War Plans for the Creation of New Divisions 

The gross result of the GHQ-directed training program culminating in 
the army maneuvers of 1941 is reflected in General McNair's report to the 
War Department on 20 December 1941. Of the 34 divisions under GHQ con- 
trol, 14 infantry divisions, 2 armored divisions, and i cavalry division were 
ready for combat. He stated that 3 more infantry divisions would be ready by 
I February 1942; 8 more infantry divisions, i more cavalry division, and i cavalry 
brigade by i March; the rest — 2 infantry divisions and 2 armored divisions — ^by 

" GHQ Pub Relations Off copy of speech delivered by Gen McNair, 14 Feb 43. 210.693/3. 
"GHQ Itr to all Army Comdrs and CofArmd F, 30 Oct 41, sub: Post-Maneuver Tng. 353/652, 



52 



ORGANIZATION OF GROUND COMBAT TROOPS 



I April " But the fresh expansion of the armored forces after 7 December 194 1 
made radical changes in these dates necessary.^* 

When war came on 7 December, it found the United States after a year of 
Selective Service with an army of 1,638,086 men in various stages of military 
proficiency,®** but with no more infantry divisions than had existed, inactive or 
understrength, in the peacetime Army. 

That GHQ had anticipated the needs of war is apparent from its reaction 
on 6 December to a War Department plan calling for the creation of twenty- 
seven reserve divisions in three years/^ The question, which had been under 
consideration since the early days of Selective Service, was the peacetime ques- 
tion of disposal of selectees after their period of military training. It had been 
decided to place them in new Regular Army reserve units. The purpose was to 
increase the number not only of trained men but also of trained or partly 
trained divisions and other units available for immediate call in an emergency/^ 

General McNair viewed this 27-division plan with disfavor. He pointed 
out that twenty-seven divisions comprised only 430,000 men out of 2,700,000 
to be made available in three years under existing Selective Service legislation 
and that most selectees would therefore return to their homes as individuals, 
without divisional experience or adequate unit training. This outcome he called 
"unreasonab]e." "I do not profess to understand," he wrote on the day before 
Pearl Harbor, "the precise military objective of pur Army, but assume as 
obvious that it must be more than a passive hemispherical defense," He esti- 
mated that operations would require 200 divisions and that their training could 
not begin too soon.'^* 

With the declaration of war the War Department produced a plan for the 
activation of three or four divisions a month beginning with March 1942 and 

"Memo (S) of Gen McNair for ACofS G-3 WD» 20 Dec 4i> sub: Readiness of Divs for Combat, 
314.7 (AGFHist) (S). 

" See AGF Historical Section, The Building and Training of Infantry Divisions, and "Mobilization of 
tht Ground Army," in this volume. 

* Tabular Rpt (S) of 30 Nov 41. 320.2/57 (Gen Str) (S). 

Memo (S) of Gen. McNair for ACofS G-3 WD» 6 Dec 41, sub: Organized Res. 320.2/58 (S). 

""GHQ had long advised the creation of Regular Army Reserve units. See: (i) Memo of Gen McNair 
for ACofS G-3 WD, 27 Nov 40, sub: Sources of Units for Activation. 320.2/56. (2) Memo of Gen McNair 
for Gen Bryden, 14 Dec 40, sub: Additional Defense Plans. 320.2/56. (3) Ltr of CofS GHQ to CGs all 
Armies, 15 May 41, sub: Unit Tng of Newly Activated RA Units. 353/24 (Tng Dir). (4) Memo of Gen 
McNair for ACofS G-3 WD, 12 Aug 41, sub: Pers Policies and Priorities Affecting Tng and Orgn. 320.2/456. 

" Sec footnote 67. 



GENERAL HEADQUARTERS, 194(M2 



53 



proceeding until the number of divisions reached lOO by the end of 1943. Asked 
for a recommendation. General McNair advised that 20 percent of these divisions 
be armored/' He strongly opposed the proposal that, under war conditions of 
accelerated expansion, divisions be filled directly from reception centers, not from 
replacement training centers. He objected on the ground that the best combat 
divisions could not be produced in minimum time if filled initially with raw re- 
cruits. "It is the belief of this headquarters," wrote General McNair on 29 Decem- 
ber 1941, "tjiat the providing of new divisions with replacement center personnel 
is of the highest priority and should take precedent over practically all other re- 
quirements," ^* GHQ urged repeatedly, but without success, that replacement 
training centers be expanded to keep pace with the expansion of the Army. 

For creating new divisions the War Department prescribed the cadre system, 
whereby a group of experienced officers and enlisted men withdrawn from a 
"parent" division became the organizing and training element of the new divi- 
sion, which was to draw most of its officers from officer candidate schools and 
the service schools, and the overwhelming mass of its enlisted men directly from 
reception centers. The system threw a heavy burden on the cadre, and General 
McNair on 20 December 194 1 submitted to General Marshall a plan for the train- 
ing of cadres." He proposed that: 

1. The commanding general and the two brigadiers of each division be appointed 
two and a half months before the date set for activation of the division. 

2. That they report immediately to GHQ for instruction in the training program. 

3. That GHQ assist the division commander in the selection of his general and 
special staff. 

4. That 

a. The commander and his staff take refresher courses at the Command and 
General Staff School, and 

b. The officers and enlisted men of the cadre report to service schools and 
Replacement Training Centers respectively for special instruction. 

"Memo (S) of Gen McNair for Gen Moore, DCofS WD, 23 Dec 41, sub; Command Set-up of Armd 
Units. 320.2/58 (Gen Scr) (S). 

" (i) Memo (S) of Gen McNair for ACofS G-3 WD, 29 Dec 41, sub: Mob and Tng Plan Revised. 
320.2/58 (Gen Str) (S). (2) Memo (S) of Gen McNair for ACofS G-3 WD, 30 Dec 41, sub: Mob and 
Tng Program Prepared by your Office Dec. 27, 1941. 320/58 (Gen Str) (S). (3) Ltr of CG FF to First 
Army, 31 Jan 42, sub: Tng of Enl Repl Reporting Direcdy from RCs. 353/763 (First Army). Same letter 
to other CGs. 

" Memo (S) of Gen McNair for CG FF, 20 Dec 41, sub: Expansion of the Army, 320.2/58 (Gen Str) (S). 



54 



ORGANIZATION OF GROUND COMBAT TROOPS 



This plan was accepted. Details were worked out at GHQ in the following 
weeks. On 17 January 1942 the first in a long series of charts, entitled "Building 
an Infantry Triangular Division," was completed. Its main outlines were only 
slightly modified in later charts, for the Army Ground Forces continued to 
create new divisions on the principles devised at GHQ immediately after the 
outbreak of war.*^* 

Additional guidance for the training of new infantry divisions was provided 
in a letter from GHQ forwarded to army commanders on 16 February 1942, 
after advance notification to the Chief of Infantry." This directive laid down in 
principle a period of ten to twelve months as the time needed to prepare a newly 
activated division for combat. It specified seventeen weeks for the accomplish- 
ment of the 13-week Mobilization Training Programs, allowing an initial four 
weeks to smooth out the confusion attendant upon activation. Then were to 
follow thirteen weeks of unit training, chiefly regimental, and fourteen weeks 
of combined training to include at least one maneuver of a division against a 
division. For combined training the directive of 4 January 194 1 remained basic. 
As "points of special importance" it was stipulated diat field maneuvers should 
be free, that exercises should be repeated, if necessary, until establishment of 
proficiency, that tests and critiques should be given, and that training in air 
and antimechanized security measures should be continuous. Combat condi- 
tions were to be simulated with increasing realism. This is evident from a pro- 
posal by the Chief of Infantry for the liberalization of safety precautions and 
greater use of actual fire, in which GHQ concurred on 8 January," 

Except for the organization of new units, the more rapid influx of recruits, 
and the increased realism in training which war made acceptable to the public, 
the training program was not much affected by the declaration of war. Essen- 
tials remained as worked out in the past year. Principles already adopted were 
applied on a larger scale. Though a large Army was not ready for combat on 
7 December 1941, the United States entered the war, thanks to the establish- 
ment of General Headquarters and of Selective Service more than a year before, 
with a training program carefully thought out and in full operation. This was 
a great gain over 19 17. 

See AGF Historical Section, The Building and Training of Infantry Divisions. 

"(i) Ltr of CG FF to CGs all Armies, i6 Feb 42, sub: Tng of Newly Activated Inf Divs. 353/21 (Inf). 
(2) GHQ memo (C) for Cofinf, 8 Jan 42, sub: Training Programs (TPs) for New Inf Divs. 353/1 (Irif) (C), 

"Ltr of Cofinf, CI 300.3/AR 750-10 (11-29-41) to TAG, 31 Dec 41, sub; Liberalization of Safety 
Precautions, AGO Records. 



GENERAL HEADQUARTERS, 1940-42 



55 



Summary of Training Principles under GHQ 

The principles developed by GHQ during 1940 and 1941 emphasized 
thorough training of the soldier and his unit in fundamentals and might be 
summarized as follows: 

1. A progression in training through a 4-phase sequence of individual basic 
training, small-unit training, combined training, and large-unit maneuvers, 

2. Tests of these successive phases, given in each case by the next higher 
headquarters, 

3, Emphasis and reemphasis on elementary training, with frequent review, 
when tests showed unsatisfactory results. 

4. Free, as opposed to controlled, maneuvers with realistic umpiring. 

5, Immediate critiques of performance in maneuvers. 

6, General soldierly proficiency, as a necessary preliminary to training for 
special operations. 

7, Instruction given in troop schools, as opposed to detachment of officers or 
enlisted men from their units for attendance at schools elsewhere. 

8. Integrity of the tactical unit, as shown in the criticism of combat-team 
tactics, in the preparation of reserve units for the peacetime army, in the policy 
toward special schools, and in the principle of command responsibility. 

9. Responsibility of commanding officers of all echelons for the planning, 
conduct, and results of training of their units, with consequent high valuation 
on leadership and officer quality. 

10, Realism, or the simulation of combat conditions. 

All these principles were carried over from GHQ into the administration of 
the Army Ground Forces, where General McNair continued to apply them in 
the training of the millions of men eventually assigned to ground combat. 



III. GHQ and the Armored 
Force 

Establishment of the Armored Force 

The Armored Force was established on lo July 1940, sixteen days before 
the activation of General Headquarters. For more than twenty years United 
States Army officers had worked hard to develop tanks, and their achievement 
compared favorably with that of the British and the French. Their work had 
been severely limited by lack of funds and by difficulties in coordinating the 
armored activities of Infantry, Cavalry, and other arms and services concerned 
with tanks. The German victories of May-June 1940 made the tank question 
more urgent than ever. The Germans had used large armored formations for 
deep penetration and wide encirclement of hostile positions. This conspicuous 
success in armored warfare strengthened the arguments of those officers who 
had long advocated a new armored tactics and organization. The result was the 
creation of an Armored Force. But because of continuing differences of outlook 
and the limitation on the creation of new arms imposed by the National Defense 
Act of 1920, the new force was set up only provisionally, "for purposes of service 
test."^ 

Though at first provisional, the Armored Force was from the beginning a 
strong autonomous organization. It received control of all tank units already 
existing in the Infantry and Cavalry and of certain Field Artillery and service 
units as well. It was to include, as they were activated, "all armored corps and 
divisions, and all GHQ Reserve tank units." At its head was a Chief of the Ar- 
mored Force, Brig. Gen. Adna R. Chaffee, who was also Commanding General 
of the I Armored Corps. The status of an "arm," which could be conferred only 
by an Act of Congress, was withheld from the new force, but the functions of its 

* (i) WD Itr AG 320,2 {7-5-40) M (Ret) M-C, lo Jul 40, sub: Orgn of the Armd F, 320.2/1 (Armd 
F). (2) Background papers in AGO Records 320.2 (6-5-40) (3) Sec i; also in G-3/41665 and in G-3/41665 
(C), Sees I and 2. 



GENERAL HEADQUARTERS, 1940-42 



57 



chief were described in the original directive as "essentially those of a chief of a 
combatant arm" with respect to all tank elements in the Army, In addition, the 
Armored Force soon obtained a temporary authority to train all nontank ele- 
ments of large armored units, mainly the infantry, artillery, and service com- 
ponents of armored divisions.^ 

Under the vigorous and able leadership of General Chaffee and his associates, 
and later of Maj, Gen. Jacob L. Devers, the Armored Force rapidly expanded. 
Within a few weeks it had formed from existing elements two armored divisions, 
which were to be followed by three more in 1941, the only strictly new divisions 
created in the United States Army before Pearl Harbor. An Armored Force 
School and an Armored Force Board were set up immediately and in 1941 an 
Armored Force Replacement Training Center and an Armored Force Officer 
Candidate School were established. On 23 November 1940 the Armored Force 
published its own Mobilization Training Program, which prescribed the hours 
and subjects for thirteen weeks of basic individual and small-unit training not 
only for tank personnel, but also for the infantry, field artillery, ordnance, signal, 
quartermaster, engineer, and medical units comprised in the Armored Force.^ 

Freed in large measure from dependence on other branches, controlling its 
own schools and replacement system, formulating its own tactical doctrine, 
shaping its own personnel through successive phases of training, organizing 
and directing units as high as divisions and corps, possessing an intense group 
spirit and a strong enthusiasm for its special weapon, the Armored Force tended 
to become an autonomous and self-contained element in the Army. This tend- 
ency raised a basic problem of military organization for the War Department, 
which had to integrate the development of the new Armored Force with the 
training activities of the old arms and services. The development of the tank 
since 1916 had in effect produced a new technique of warfare. An answer had 
to be found to the question whether emphasis should be placed on specialization 
in its use, resulting in a relatively independent organization to meet the new 
need, or whether the new organization should be kept within the established 
framework, acting interdependently with the older parts. In other words, how 
far, if at all, should the Armored Force develop in the direction of autonomy 
which the Air Corps was taking ? 

* See Ifootnote i| (i) above, and WD immediate action Itr AG 320.2 (11-8-40) M-C, 13 Nov 40, sub: 
Tng of Components oi Armd F. 320.2/1 1 (Armd F). 

' Armd F, "Mobilization Training Program," 23 Nov 40. 322x91/2 (Armd F). 



58 



ORGANIZATION OF GROUND COMBAT TROOPS 



Relation of GHQ to the Armored Force 

Relations between GHQ and the Armored Force were always somewhat 
distant and unclear. As a headquarters concerned with training of units, GHQ 
had no authority on questions of Armored Force organization. General McNair's 
views on this subject were nevertheless often requested by the War Department, 
as were his opinions on questions of Air Corps and tank destroyer organization. 
He exerted a personal, not an official, influence. He expressed reluctance to 
deal with the question of Armored Force organization, possibly because his 
ideas on this subject were generally shared and expressed by G-3 of the War 
Department. 

For training, GHQ had direct supervision only over the field forces, i. e., 
organized tactical units. Its authority therefore stopped sliort of the schools and 
replacement activities of the Armored Force, but embraced the I Armored 
Corps, the armored divisions, and the separate tank battalions which were 
designed to reinforce infantry or other elements at the discretion of higher 
commanders and which were known as GHQ tank battalions. To assist in the 
discharge of these responsibilities. General McNair included an Armored Force 
officer, Lt. Col. Allen F. Kingman, in his original small "nucleus" of a staff. But 
even in the training of tactical units General McNair was disposed to leave the 
Armored Force to its own devices, though representatives of GHQ frequently 
visited Fort Knox and submitted reports. The main part played by GHQ was 
to employ armored units produced by the Armored Force in the GHQ-directed 
maneuvers of 1941. 



Training Directives and Maneuvers 

GHQ issued no major training directives specifically to the Armored Force. 
Even tlie general training directives issued at intervals to army commanders 
laying down broad training policies for the field forces were not at first addressed 
to the Chief of the Armored Force. Copies, however, were sent to Fort Knox 
for information, and the Armored Force showed a willingness to conform to 
them. When the Armored Force published its Mobilization Training Program 
in November 1940, it listed among its references General McNair's first trainmg 
directive, i. e., his letter of 16 September 1940 to army commanders. Neither the 
GHQ directive of January 1941 on "Combined Training," nor the one of March 



GENERAL HEADQUARTERS, 1940-42 



59 



1941 on "Training Tests/' nor any equivalent was addressed to the Armored 
Force. The letter of 30 October 1941 on "Post-Maneuver Training" wzs the first 
major training directive sent both to army commanders and to the Chief of the 
Armored Force. 

This reluctance to interfere in the training of the Armored Force can 
probably be ascribed to its peculiar situation during its first year. Training had 
to be sacrificed to expansion. Hardly were the ist and 2d Armored Divisions 
organized when they were required to produce cadres for the 3d and 4th. From 
February to May, 1941, the 2d Armored Division was needed for air-ground 
tactical tests. In November 1940 the GHQ tank officers reported that basic 
training was being neglected, but that the Armored Force authorities were 
aware of the problem; in January 1941, that training within divisions suffered 
from the creation of new units and that the Armored Force was expanding 
before any of its existing units were properly trained; in March, that expansion 
was still proceeding, but was handicapped by the failure of the War Department 
to activate new divisional headquarters in advance.* In these circumstances it 
was not until late 194 1 that Armored Force units were ready to profit fully by 
directives laid down by GHQ for ground troops at large. 

Sometimes inspections resulted in attempts to bring Armored Force 
methods into greater harmony with the policies of GHQ. On one occasion it 
was found that training tests were so arranged that a battalion virtually tested 
itself. General McNair wrote to General Chaffee that the battalion should be 
tested by its next higher headquarters.'' Again, after his representative had 
attended a field exercise of the ist Armored Division, General McNair wrote that 
in such exercises the enemy should be represented at least by umpires and that 
a brief oral critique should immediately follow.*^ But, in general, few such 
letters were written, and in all phases of training short of maneuvers for corps 
and armies the Armored Force went its way with little direction from GHQ. 

Armored divisions appeared for the first time in U. S. Army maneuvers 
in the summer of 1941; the 2d Armored Division, in June; and the ist, a few 

* Memos of Li Col A. F. Kingman for CofS GHQ, 15 Nov 40, 22 Jan 41, and 28 Mar 41. 333.1 (Ft 
Knox), items i, 2, and 3. 

' Ltr of Gen McNair to CofArmd F, 22 Apr 41, sub: Training Tests. 353/43 (Armd F). 

'Ltr of Gen McNair to CofArmd F, 19 May 41, sub: Training Tests, ist Armd Div, May 12-14, I94i- 
333-1/5 (Ft Knox). Other GHQ reports on Fort Knox may be found in this file and in 31 9.1 (Weekly Rpts 
of GHO Activities). 



6o 



ORGANIZATION OF GROUND COMBAT TROOPS 



weeks later. Various corps and army headquarters had the opportunity, through 
attachment, to employ them in the field/ The main test came in the GHQ 
maneuvers of November 1941 in the Carolinas. The I Armored Corps, com- 
prising the ist and 2d Armored Divisions, v^^as attached to the IV Army Corps 
under Maj. Gen, Oscar W. Griswold, in opposition to the First Army under 
Lt. Gen. Hugh A, Drum. General Grisv^^old's numerical inferiority (100,000 
against 195,000) w^as to be compensated for by massing under his command 
865 tanks and armored scout cars. Against him the First Army had 4,321 guns 
w^hich might be effective against tanks, and, of these, 764 were capable of mobile 
concentration against tank assault. 

As director of the maneuvers. General McNair judged that General 
Griswold employed his tank strength prematurely and piecemeal, losing the 
opportunity to use the I Armored Corps as a whole for a concentrated blow at 
the critical time. He also thought that armored units had on occasion been 
used where other types of units, easier to replace, might have accomplished the 
same objective. In general, the maneuvers were inconclusive as to the effects of 
massed tank action at a decisive moment. 

They confirmed, however, certain developments which had been growing 
more evident since the great German armored offensives of May-June 1940. 
Antitank guns proved themselves highly effective. Umpires ruled that 983 
tanks had been put out of action — 91 percent by guns, 5 percent by grenades, 3 
percent by mines, and i percent by air. The ist Armored Division was destroyed, 
after its line of communications was severed at the beginning of the attack- It 
was agreed that tanks needed the strong support of infantry to hold ground and 
neutralize antitank guns. A much improved warning system against mobile 
antitank guns was found to be necessary. Better radio discipline in tank units 
was recommended in the interest of security. General Griswold noted a tendency 
on the part of the I Armored Corps "to operate independently and without too 
much regard for other members of the team." * 

'See (i) ist ind Hq Armd F to CofS GHQ, 7 Apr 41. 353 (2d Armd Div). (2) 353.28 (VII Corps). 
(3) GHQ Itr to CGs all Armies and CofArmd 16 Jul 41, sub: Assumed and Simulated Weapons during 
GHQ-directed Maneuvers. 353/130 (Armd F). (4) GHQ memo for ODCofS USA, 2 Sep 41, sub: Summary 
of Activities, GHQ, for Week Ending 2 Sep 41. 319.1/29 (Wkly Rpts). 

'The preceding four paragraphs arc based on mimeographed reproductions of oral comments made at 
the critique following the maneuvers by (i) Gen McNair (354.2/20 (First Army)) and (2) Gen Griswold 
(354.2/10 (First Army)), and on Gen McNair's subsequent written criticisms, Itr of Gen McNair to CG 
IV Corps. 7 Jan 42 (354.2/1 (IV Army Corps)), 



GENERAL HEADQUARTERS, 194(M2 



6i 



But, at the same time, the staff of the I Armored Corps distinguished itself 
in intelligence work and by its skill in withdrawing the two armored divisions 
and the 4th Motorized Division over limited road nets. The armored units 
showed themselves able to move effectively at night. The willingness and 
endurance of the troops were noted by General McNair, and General Griswold 
observed that no one should be misled by the success of antitank weapons into 
underestimating the power of tanks. 

Thus the Armored Force, in somewhat over a year and in spite of the drains 
caused by expansion, had performed the important task of putting two com- 
petent armored divisions into the field. At the end of 1941 three additional 
armored divisions were in less advanced stages of training. 

Organizational Problems 

Since the Armored Force was at first established provisionally, the question 
soon arose of its more permanent organization. The issues raised were of the 
highest importance to the Army, and in the ensuing discussion GHQ played a 
substantial, though largely unofficial, part. The organizational question was 
brought up by the Armored Force on 2 October 1940 and was temporarily 
resolved by a War Department directive of 3 April 1941. During these six 
months four proposals were made, two by the Armored Force and two by 
G-3 of the War Department General Staff. 

The first proposal of the Armored Force, that of 2 October 1940, made 
four recommendations: (i) That the Armored Force receive a headquarters and 
headquarters company of its own, instead of using those of the I Armored Corps. 
Over this request no controversy developed, though action on it was delayed 
until the general settlement of 3 April 1941. (2) That three GHQ Reserve 
Group headquarters be activated to command the fifteen GHQ tank battalions 
contemplated by the War Department. Only the timing, not the substance, of 
this request became an issue, (3) That a II Armored Corps be activated, since 
the War Department planned to create a third and a fourth armored division. 
(4) That a large and varied assortment of organic corps troops be assigned to 
each armored corps. 

The third and fourth recommendations raised considerable difficulties. 
They posed the question whether the War Department should create a "type" 
armored corps so fully provided with its own supporting troops as to constitute 
a small independent army. The requested corps troops included military police 



62 



ORGANIZATION OF GROUND COMBAT TROOPS 



and signal units; corps artillery, medical, ordnance, and quartermaster units; 
one decontaminating company; an antiaircraft regiment and an antitank 
battalion; five kinds of engineers; four replacement battalions; and, for air 
support, an armored observation squadron, a composite pursuit group, and an 
entire wing of light bombers.® 

To these plans G-3 responded with a proposal of its own, dated 19 
November 1940, It rejected the idea of a heavily equipped "type" armored corps 
and saw no need of a second armored corps until the following fiscal year. 
Organic corps troops were to be held to a minimum — a headquarters and 
headquarters company and a signal battalion. All other types of troops in the 
Armored Force list, according to G-3, should be supplied to armored corps 
from GHQ reserves as determined by higher command. In this respect the G-3 
proposal tended to check the development of the Armored Force in the direction 
of independence, but, in another respect, it encouraged it. Continuing to support 
a policy for which it had failed to obtain acceptance in the preceding July, G-3 
recommended that the Armored Force be set up as a fully recognized separate 
arm. 

This suggestion revived an old controversy. The Chiefs of Infantry and of 
Cavalry strongly dissented. The Chief of Infantry felt that the severance of tanks 
from foot troops had already gone too far and that the development of tank 
tactics and training of tank personnel should be a responsibility of his office. 
The Chief of Cavalry, in a long memorandum, chiefly historical in nature, 
contended that the Cavalry had long led the way in mechanized developments, 
but that lately the views of his office had been persistently disregarded. On the 
War Department General Staff, G-i and G-2 expressed nonconcurrences less 
emphatic than those of the two Chiefs. General approval of the plan was given 
by WPD, the Armored Force, and GHQ. The War Plans Division concurred 
without comments. The Armored Force accepted the G-3 proposal with reser- 
vations on the matter of corps troops. GHQ was in favor of establishing the 
Armored Force as a separate arm and wanted the II Armored Corps set up 
before the 4th Armored Division in accordance with its principle of activating 
headquarters before receipt of subordinate units.^^ 

■ Ltr of CG Armd F to TAG, 2 Oct 40, sub: Orgn of the Armd F. AGO Records, 320.2 (6-5-40) (3) Sec i. 

"Memo G-3/41665 of Gen F. M. Andrews, ACofS G-3 for CofS USA, 19 Nov 40, sub: Orgn of the 
Armd F. AGO Records, 320.2 (6-5-40) (3) Sec i, 

"Memos for ACofS G-3 WD, sub: Orgn of the Armd F, as follows: (i) CI 322/9816 from Gen G. A. 
Lynch, 7 Dec 40; (2) from Gen G. K. Herr, CofCav, 7 Dec 40; (3) G-1/16249 from Gen W. E. Shedd, 



GENERAL HEADQUARTERS, 1940-42 



63 



In view of these extremes of disagreement, the Office of the Chief of Staff 
decided to postpone an immediate decision on the basic question and issued on 
21 January 1941 a compromise directive. The G-3 proposal was rejected. 
Divisions and corps containing armored units were to be considered as tactical 
units of combined arms, not as units of a separate arm or branch, and officers 
of such units were to come from all arms and services. If a separate Armored 
Force branch were established, officers would be detailed to it for limited 
periods from other combat arms. But, like the other combat arms, this separate 
Armored Force would become responsible for developing the tactics and 
technique of its units, including the largest.^^ 

G-3 responded to these instructions by what seems to have been a delaying 
action, merely recommending on 27 February that, if a separate arm were 
created, officers should be commissioned in it permanently.^^ On this problem 
GHQ continued to stand with G-3, approving fully the suggestion made.^* 
War Plans Division took an ambiguous position, agreeing with G-3 in principle 
but suggesting that, if the compromise plan of detailing officers temporarily to 
the Armored Force should prove successful, then all "arms" and "branches" 
might well be abolished. G-i objected to the G-3 proposal, fearing that officers 
commissioned in an armored arm would become too specialized. It recom- 
mended temporary detail of officers to the Armored Force, as the Navy detailed 
officers to its air force without loss of efficiency in aviation, G-4 agreed with 
G-i. The views of the Chiefs of Infantry and Cavalry were not sought at this 
stage. 

Meanwhile, the Armored Force itself was willing to let the separate-arm 
question wait but pushed forward its campaign for autonomy of command. A 
study of armored organization in European armies was made at Fort Knox. 

9 Dec 40; (4) G-2/2045-1510 from Gen Sherman Miles, i6 Dec 40; (5) from Gen L. T. Gcrow, WPD, 
9 Dec 40; (6) £rom Gen C. L. Scott, CO Armd F, 26 Nov 40; (7) from Gen L. J. McNair, CofS GHQ, 3 
Dec 40. All in AGO Records 320.2 (6-5-40) (3) Sec. i. 

"Memo DCS 21149-20 of Col Orlando Ward for ACofS G-3 WD, 21 Jan 41, sub: Orgn of the Armd F. 
322.091/10 (Armd F). 

"Memo (C) of ACofS G-3 WD for CofS USA, 27 Feb 41, sub: The Establishment of the Armd F as a 
Separate Arm. 322.091/10 (Armd F). 

"Memos for ACofS G-3 WD, sub; Establishment of the Armd F as a Separate Arm, as follows: 
(1) G-1/16249-33 from Gen W. H. Haislip, to Mar 41; (2) G-4/32714 from Gen E. Reybold, 12 Mar 41; 
(3) WPD 4334-8 from Col J. W, Anderson, 18 Mar 41, All in AGO Records, 320.2 (6-5-40) (3) Sec i. 
The concurrence of GHQ is indicated by the initials "LJM" in the appropriate place on the G-3 memo, 27 
Feb 41, in this file. 



64 



ORGANIZATION OF GROUND COMBAT TROOPS 



This report stressed the fact that the Germans, whose superiority in this respect 
was unquestioned early in 1941, had a more independent armored organization 
than the British or French and that in the Battle of Flanders they had employed 
an armored army consisting of four armored corps.^'* 

Fortified by these findings, the Armored Force submitted on 22 February 
1941 its second proposal for permanent organization. Maj. Gen, Charles L. 
Scott, commanding in General Chaffee's absence, pointed out the similarity of 
the organization recommended to that already in effect in the Air Corps/^ The 
Armored Force was to be headed by a commanding general whose rank, it 
might be inferred from the study, was to be that of a full general. Under him 
were to be two subdivisions: an administrative division under a major general 
comparable to a chief of arm, and a field headquarters under a major general 
as chief of staff. Through this staff the commander of the Armored Force would 
control the several armored corps, each under a lieutenant general, and the 
tank groups under which the separate tank battalions were placed.^^ A letter 
of I March from General Chaffee to the Armored Force liaison officer in 
Washington, the contents of which had also been forwarded to General 
Marshall, made the meaning of the proposal clear 

The Armored Force should be placed on the status o£ an Armored Army Headquarters 
capable o£ operating the force as a whole or of detaching any part of it, Corps, Division, 
Group or Battalion, as is the GHQ Air Force. It should have the same relation to GHQ 
as has the GHQ Air Force, GHQ couldn't possibly operate it with a staff alone; it has too 
many other things to do. 

The questions of the Chief of Arm should be set up as Scott has them, capable of 
being separated and left in the zone of interior or SOS should Force Headquarters be in 
the zone of the Armies, 

In a letter of 18 March to General McNair, General Chaffee developed his 
ideas and requested support.*^ According to General Chaffee the Armored Force, 
because of its peculiar mobility, its peculiar problems of supply, the special 
knowledge required of its officers, and its considerable size could not successfully 

" (i) Armd F, "Orgn for Command of Large Armd Units in European Armies," i8 Jan 41, 322.091/8 
and /ii (Armd F). (2) Personal Itr of Gen McNair to Gen C. L. Scott, 24 Jan 41. 322.091/8 (Armd F). 

"Armd F Itr to TAG, 22 Feb 41, sub: Orgn of the Armd F to Meet Proposed Expansion. 322.091/11 
(Armd F). 

" Chart, incl 2 to Itr cited in footnote 1 6, 

"Personal Itr (C) of Gen ChaUcc to [Lt Col G. X.] Chevcs, i Mar 41. G-3/41665 (C) Sec 4. 
" Personal Itr of Gen Chaffee to Gen McNair, 18 Mar 41. 322.091/12 (Armd F). 



GENERAL HEADQUARTERS, 1940-42 



65 



be operated through the ordinary channels of command and staff. Above the 
armored corps, therefore, 

is needed a headquarters which thoroughly understands and is trained and equipped to 
handle the problems of concentration, supply, replacement, field equipment, and mainte- 
nance of masses of armored troops. . . . GHQ may wish to employ more than a corps 
of two divisions, and if so it should have the trained organization available. 

Even with the small 7th Cavalry Brigade, Mechanized, I have never attended a maneuver 
. . . where I did not have to take over from Army or Corps headquarters all the questions 
of supply including gasoline and oil, maintenance, and evacuation, etc. Staffs which are not 
trained in large armored units have not sufficient appreciation of their detailed requirements 
to be able to give good service. 

If you should set up in GHQ an Armored Force section to take over the details of 
movement, operation, supply, maintenance, and evacuation of several detached and separate 
armored corps and several separate GHQ tank groups, I believe it would break down, 
and one of your earliest steps would be to set up a command group for this similar to that 
of the GHQ Air Force which can take care of all these matters, and make available to you 
for operations at any time and place a separate battalion or division corps or any larger 
part of the Armored Force that may be necessary in your plan. . . . 

I therefore hope that you will nonconcur strongly in the G-3 memorandum which I 
mentioned and insist on a proper, adequate and forward-looking organization. 

The G-3 memorandum referred to by General Chaffee was a G-3 proposal 
drawn up on 13 March in answer to the second proposal of the Armored Force. 
G-3 was not convinced of the need of an armored army. The new G-3 
proposal recommended instead (i) that the office of the Chief of the Armored 
Force be organized like that of any other chief, not under a tactical commander 
of the arm; (2) that the largest armored tactical unit be a corps, not an army; 
and (3) that control of armored units in operation be through Armored Force 
staff sections at the headquarters of field armies, theaters of operations, and GHQ, 
not through a special commanding general of the whole Armored Force.^' 

General McNair was now forced to choose between G-3 and the Armored 
Force, both of whom sought his support, but since he seemed not yet to have 
reached a clear decision in his own mind he wrote rather noncommittally to 
General Chaffee, To General Scott he observed; "I, myself, will not tangle in 
this matter, since my job is training and not organization." He inclined far 
enough to Armored Force views to express a mild nonconcurrence in the second 

^"Mcmo o£ ACofS G-3 WD for CofS USA, 13 Mar 41, sub: Orgn of the Armd F to Meet Proposed 
Expansion. 322.091/12 (ArmdF). 

Personal Itr of Gen McNair to Gen Chaffee, 24 Mar 41. 322.091/12 (Armd F); and to Gen Scott, 
10 Mar 41. 353/28 (Armd F). 



66 



ORGANIZATION OF GROUND COMBAT TROOPS 



and third points of the G-3 proposal, which opposed the establishment of an 
armored army and the appointment of a full general for the whole Armored 
Force.^^ 

"In my view," wrote General McNair to G-3, "the essential element of 
armored action is a powerful blow delivered by surprise. While the armored 
units may be broken up and attached to division and army corps, it is readily 
conceivable, and indeed probable, that the entire force, under a single command, 
may be thrown against a decisive point." 

In other words, in March 1941 GHQ not only favored the establishment 
of the Armored Force as a separate arm but was willing to see further 
consideration of the idea of an armored army. 

Other influences, however, were at work to keep armored units within 
the older framework of the field forces. It was believed in Armored Force 
circles that Maj. Gen. William Bryden, Deputy Chief of the War Department 
General StafI, was among them,^^ The identity of others may be conjectured 
from the records of nonconcurrences in the earlier recommendations of G-3. All 
that can be said on the basis of evidence examined is that on 25 March the Office 
of the Chief of Staff issued instructions which, if carried out, would have given 
less autonomy to the Armored Force than G-3 recommended and even less 
than it had possessed up to that date. The Armored Force was to remain on a 
provisional basis, "for purposes of service test," under a chief who would 
exercise the same functions in training, inspection, and development as other 
chiefs of arms. Officers would be detailed to, not commissioned in, the Force. 
The I Armored Corps would continue, but the activation of a second would be 
deferred. Though these provisions left the Armored Force about the same as 
the directive of July 1940 had created it, two other provisions reduced its powers. 
It was stipulated that the 3d and 4th Armored Divisions, when organized, 
should not be included in the Armored Force but placed as separate divisions 
under GHQ for training, subject to attachment to the Third and First Armies. 
All GHQ reserve tank battalions were to be transferred from the Armored 
Force to GHQ. G-3 was instructed to incorporate these principles in a directive 
within two days," 

**Memo of Gen McNair for ACofS G-3 WD, 24 Mar 41, sub: Orgn of Armd F to Meet Proposed 
Expansion. 322.091/12 (Armd F). 

"Memo of Lt Col F. R. Waltz, Armd F liaison off to CofArmd F, 5 Mar 41, sub not given, 353/28 
(Armd F). Of. Gen McNair*s Itr to Gen Scoct cited in | footnoteTi] above. 

** Memo DCS 21149-30 for ACofS G-3 WD, 25 Mar 41, sub: Armd F. AGO Records, 320.2 (6-5-40) 
(3) Sec I. 



GENERAL HEADQUARTERS, 194(M2 



67 



As the result of a protest from General Chaffee to General Marshall, the 
Office of the Chief of Staff almost immediately reversed itself. Acting on oral 
instructions which superseded those of both 25 March and 21 January from the 
Office of the Chief of Staff, G-3 prepared a directive to be issued as an immediate 
action letter by The Adjutant General General Marshall wrote "O. K., GCM" 
on the G-3 paper. Published on 3 April 1941, the directive was as significant 
in its silences as in its statements.^'* 

Nothing was said on the problem of the Armored Force as a separate arm, 
or on the related questions of the detailing or commissioning of its officers. 
Nothing was said of an armored army, or of a second armored corps, or of the 
organic constitution of an armored corps, or of the corps as the largest per- 
missible armored tactical unit. At the same time no more was said of removing 
the separate tank battalions from Armored Force jurisdiction. 

Those who had feared the growth of an independent Armored Force could 
feel that the directive killed the movement to create a new arm as well as a new 
army. They could point to certain provisions as safeguards for their views. All 
armored units were declared to be subject to attachment to existing field armies 
for combined training. In establishing doctrine for the use of GHQ tank 
battalions in armored support of infantry, the Chief of the Armored Force was 
to share the responsibility with the Chief of Infantry, The Chief of Staff, GHQ, 
was to have authority over the Chief of the Armored Force during combined 
training. General McNair noted that this provision had no significance. 

The Armored Force retained the powers granted to it in the preceding 
July. It obtained a distinct Force headquarters and headquarters company, 
"constituted on the active list," under command of General Chaffee. The I 
Armored Corps was continued, under command of General Scott. The 3d and 
4th Armored Divisions, and by implication all future armored divisions, would 
be organized and trained as separate divisions by the Armored Force. Leaders 
of the Armored Force could feel that they had at least won an established 
status and that some of their larger proposals, while now passed over in silence, 
might be reopened in the future. 

^ (i) Memo of Gen Adna R. Chaflce for CofS USA, 27 Mar 41. Personal Files of General Chafe. 
Sec AGF Historical Section, The Armored Force, Command, and Center, Sec VT, (2) Memo of ACofS 
G-3 WD for TAG, 31 Mar 41, sub: Armd F. AGO Records, 320.2 ^ 6-5-40) (3) Sec lA, (3) WD Itr AG 
320.2 (1-21-41) M (Ret) M--C CO CofArmd F, CG I Armd Corps, Cofinf, and CofS GHQ, 3 Apr 41, sub: 
Armd F, 320.2/1 (Armd F). 



68 



ORGANIZATION OF GROUND COMBAT TROOPS 



Status of the Armored Force 

Fundamentals of Armored Force organization did not again become an 
issue until after Pearl Harbor. Meanwhile the Armored Force organized its 
headquarters, as authorized by the directive of 3 April, and initiated studies 
looking toward an extensive reconstruction of the armored divisions to increase 
flexibility of striking power. This reconstruction became effective i March 1942. 
On both matters the plans were produced at Fort Knox and accepted by the 
War Department with the concurrence of GHQ.'^' 

Two developments before Pearl Harbor tended to limit the self-sufficiency 
of the Armored Force. By the first its replacement training center lost the 
function, temporarily granted in the preceding November, of training enlisted 
men of various arms and services. Henceforth, with its own replacement center 
confined to the training of tank and headquarters personnel, the Armored 
Force was to receive infantry, signal, medical, and other replacements from 
centers conducted by their respective branches. Specialization for armored 
operations was restricted. This action, in which GHQ had played no part, came 
as a result of a query raised by General Marshall.^^ 

In the other development GHQ, as the agency directing the field operations 
of large units, was directly concerned. The Armored Force, in planning the 
participation of its tactical units in the summer and fall maneuvers, asked for 
the control during the maneuver period of two quartermaster gasoline com- 
panies of a special highly mobile type, and of one heavy ponton engineer 
battalion equipped to build bridges that could carry tanks. It was argued that 
an armored corps or division, in executing one of its characteristic deep penetra- 
tions or wide flanking movements, would outrun the supply facilities of higher 
headquarters and must therefore have its own means of bridge building and 
refueling. But, of the units asked for, few existed, and these few might be 
needed for various missions. Consequently GHQ decided that the units con- 
cerned should be attached to army or army corps headquarters, which could 
make them available to armored or other elements as changing conditions might 

" For the concurrences of GHQ and related papers, see 320. 3/n and 725. 

"(i) Memo OCS 21149-35 of GCM[arshaIiJ for ACofS G-3 WD, 14 Apr 41, sub not given. AGO 
Records, 320.2 (6-5-40) (3) Sec lA (Armd F). (2) Men:>os G-3/6541-Gen 647 for CofS USA, 16 Apr 41 
and 9 Jun 41, sub: Functions of Armd F RTC, Ft Knox, Ky, AGO Records, 320.2 (6-5-40) (3) Sec 6, 
(Repl Gen). (3) WD Itrs, both to CofArmd F, AG 320.2 (8-21-41) MT-C, 26 Aug 41, sub: Function of 
AFRTC Ft Knox, Ky, and AG 320.2 (9-12-41) MT-C, 19 Sep 41, sub: Tng of Arnnd F Repls. AGO Records, 
320.2 (6-5-40) (3) Sec 6, (Repl Cen). 



GENERAL HEADQUARTERS, 1940-42 



69 



require. The principle of armored self-sufficiency was sacrificed to the principle 
of economy of force under centralized command.^ Still General McNair foresaw 
trouble in the employment of armored forces if higher commanders were not 
schooled in their use. When General Devers became Chief of the Armored 
Force in August 194 1, General McNair promised his help in getting Armored 
Force doctrine understood in the higher ranks of the field forces. At the same 
time he reaffirmed his disinclination to discuss Armored Force policies, 
declaring that such policies "are out of our line." " 

The declaration of war raised again the question of the over-all composition 
of the Armored Force. The rapid expansion of the Army now proposed required 
a decision on the proportional increase of armored divisions, GHQ was called on 
to make a recommendation.^** After reviewing the experience of the 1941 
maneuvers General McNair recommended a 20-percent proportion of armored 
to infantry divisions. According to the plans then under consideration, this 
meant an increase in authorized strength from six to twenty armored divisions 
by the end of 1943."^ 

On the value of constituting new armored corps, varying conclusions were 
drawn from the maneuvers. The Armored Force, believing that armored 
divisions required higher headquarters specially prepared in armored work, 
requested that at least two new armored corps be established.^^ General Marshall, 
on the other hand, was understood to desire a system by which army and army 
corps commanders could be trained in the handling of armored divisions. 
General McNair suggested a solution between these two views. He saw the need 
for only one new armored corps, and G-3, of the War Department, acting on 
his recommendation, authorized the II Armored Corps on Christmas Day, 
1941.^^ To implement what he believed to be General Marshall's policy and "to 

" (i) Ltr of CG Armd F to CofS GHQ, 12 Apr 41, sub: Allocation oi Gasoline Companies and Engineer 
Troops to Armd F during 1941 Maneuvers, 353/42 (Armd F). (2) Ltr of CofS GHQ to CG Armd F, 26 
Apr 41, sub: Function of AFRTC at Ft Knox, Ky, Located as in footnote 27 (2). 

"Personal ltr of Gen McNair to Gen Devers, 15 Aug 41. 353/197 (Armd F). 

"Memo (S) of Col E. N. Harmon, CofS Armd F for Gen McNair, 23 Dec 41, sub not given. 320.2/58 
(Gen Str) (S). 

'^Memo (S) of Gen McNair for Gen Moore, DCofS USA, 23 Dec 41, sub: Command Set-up of Armd 
Units. 320,2/58 (S). 

" Armd F memo (C) for CofS USA, 12 Dec 41. G-3/41665 (C) Sec 4. 

" (i) Memo (C) of ACofS G-3 WD for TAG, 25 Dec 41, sub: Activation of Headquarters & Head- 
quarters Company, II Armd Corps. G-3/41665 (C) Sec 6. (2) WD ltr AG 320.2 (12- 17-41) MR-M-C to 
CofArmd F, 14 Jan 42, sub as above. AGO Records, 320,2 (6-5-40) (3) Sec iB. 



70 



ORGANIZATION OF GROUND COMBAT TROOPS 



obtain experience and new ideas as to both organization and employment of 
armored units," General McNair recommended an assortment of command 
arrangements. He proposed that the I and II Armored Corps and the III and 
VI Army Corps, all under separate higher commands, should each operate with 
a different mixture of infantry^ armored^ and motorized divisions,** For a time 
he doubted the need of even one armored corps, since the only trained armored 
divisions, the ist and 2d, were already earmarked to take part in different 
overseas missions.^ An important use was soon found, however, for the I 
Armored Corps in the establishment and organization of the Desert Training 
Center.'* 

In its attempt to enlarge the organic composition of an armored corps the 
Armored Force was even less successful. As a result of experience with the I 
Armored Corps in the November 194 1 maneuvers, General Devers considered 
the current composition of an armored corps, including only two armored divi- 
sions, a signal battalion, and headquarters troops, insufficient. He proposed to 
add, as organic elements, a motorized infantry division, an armored military 
police company, an armored engineer battalion, an armored medical regiment, 
and an armored light maintenance company.^^ Both GHQ and G-3 thought it 
premature to accept a "type" armored corps, i. e., one with an elaborate per- 
manent organization. Both disapproved of the creation of specialized armored 
service units, and GHQ believed in addition that infantry divisions should not 
be organic in armored corps but attached as needed.^® General McNair noted 
"a definite tendency to make the armored corps an administrative rather than 
a tactical unit, as though the armored corps would operate independently of 
an army." 

The combined views of G-3 and GHQ were presented to the Chief of the 
Armored Force in a War Department letter rejecting General Devers' proposal.^® 

" Memo of Gen McNair for CofS USA, 17 Dec 41, sub: Gen Devers' Memorandum of Dec 12, 320.2/39 
(Armd F). 

"Memo (C) of Gen, McNair for ACofS G-3 WD, 22 Jan 42, sub: Proposed Orgn of Armd Corps. 
320.2/1 (Armd F) (C). 

*■ AGF memo (C) for G-3 WD, 5 Mar 42, sub; Orgn of ist and 2d Armd Corps. 320.2/3 (Armd F) (C). 

"Ltr of CG Armd F to TAG, 20 Dec 41, sub: Supporting Elements for Armd Div and Corps. AGO 
Records, 320.2 (6-5-40) (3) Sec iB. 

" (i) Memo of ACofS G-3 WD for CG FF, 28 Jan 42, sub: Orgn of an Armd Corps and Supporting 
Elements for Armd Divs & Corps. AGO Records, 320.2 (6-5-40) (2) Sec iB. (2) Memo of Gen McNair for 
ACofS G-3 WD, 4 Feb 42, sub as above, AGO Records, 320.2 (6-5-40) (2) Sec iB. 

"WD Itr AG 320.2 (12-30-42) MR-C to CofArmd F, 14 Feb 42, sub as in footnote 38 (i). AGO 
Records, 320.2 (6-5-40) (2) Sec iB, 



GENERAL HEADQUARTERS, 1940-42 



71 



The following reasons were given: 

2. . , . The War Department view is influenced by considerations which affect the 
Army as a whole and by appreciation of estimated needs for the next eighteen months. It is 
believed that armored corps will usually be employed as part of an army and will have 
available the reinforcing elements of such command. Simplicity and standardization of these 
elements is greatly desired, and the urge to create special armored units should be resisted 
unless no satisfactory substitute can be made available. 

3. It is believed unnecessary to assign motorized divisions organically to armored 
corps, as attachment at appropriate times should serve the purpose economically. 

4. It is thought that at this time the organic set-up for an armored corps should be 
a trim tactical organization, comprising a s^all headquarters with a minimum of corps 
troops and a minimum of administrative activity. 

5. If and when plans call for the independent operation of armored corps, there would 
then be no question as to setting up appropriate reinforcements. This, however, is not 
regarded as an immediate problem. 

6. It is considered satisfactory procedure, therefore, to attach the standard type motor- 
ized. Engineer, Military Police, Medical and light maintenance units to armored corps 
when needed. 

Meanwhile the Armored Force, somewhat inadvertently, stirred up the 
old issue of an armored army* It submitted proposed Tables of Organization for 
the enlargement of Armored Force headquarters. Five supporting charts were 
included, showing the functions of each general staff section and of the Adjutant 
General " The functions of G-i were stated to include the responsibility for 
casualty reports, prisoner of war reports, relations with civilian government in 
the theater of operations, graves registration, burials, and other matters unmis- 
takably suggesting combat. The charts for G-2 and G-3 showed fewer such 
indications and those for G-4 and the Adjutant General none at all. Apparently 
the work had been imperfectly coordinated. G-3 of the War Department took 
alarm, suspecting that the Armored Force had ambitions to move bodily into 
theaters of operations as a tactical command, and requested the comments of 
GHQ, GHQ replied that the Armored Force was indeed understood to be a 
Zone of Interior establishment only and that no armored units larger than the 
corps would be required in the foreseeable future, but that the proposed Tables 
of Organization in themselves seemed reasonable in the strength requested.*^ 
A demand by G-3 that the Armored Force revise its tables was stopped by action 

*Five charts, filed in "Bulky Package," AGO Records, 320.2 (10-30-41) (2) Sec 12. 

" (i) Memo of ACofS G-3 WD for CG FF, 17 Jan 42, sub: Table of Orgn, Hq Armd P. 320.3/55, 
(2) Memo of Gen McNair for ACofS G— 3 WD, 13 Jan 42, sub as above, 320.3/55. 



72 



ORGANIZATION OF GROUND COMBAT TROOPS 



of General Bryden, and the new Tables of Organization were published in their 
original form. They gave the Armored Force a headquarters comparable in size 
to those of the field armies or the Air Force Combat Command/^ 

By the time of the dissolution of GHQ, the net effect of War Department 
policy had been to check the acquisition by the Armored Force of the degree of 
independence achieved by the Army Air Forces. The over-all unity of the Army 
was broken as little as possible by special treatment accorded the Armored Force. 
Armored divisions or armored corps were to be placed under the higher control 
of commanders of combined arms. Tanks were to be supported largely by 
standard units rather than by specialized armored units of engineers, ordnance, 
and other branches of the Army. In the interest of flexibility, economy, and 
centralization of command, the principle of standard interchangeable parts 
was carried as far as was practicable. The Armored Force itself contributed 
to the application of this principle by reorganizing the GHQ tank battalions 
to make them identical, and hence interchangeable, with the tank battalions 
found in armored divisions. The Armored Force also pioneered in experi- 
menting with tactical group headquarters, a necessary corollary to the principle 
of interchangeable battalions.*^ The War Department decided that, in dealing 
with armored matters, the organic elements of a corps should be held to a 
minimum and the corps made adaptable to contingencies through attachment 
of troops as needed. This principle, like the principle of interchangeable standard 
parts was to assume greater importance in the U. S. Army as the war 
proceeded.** 

The failure of the Armored Force to follow the path of the Air Corps, to 
which at first it compared itself, might possibly be ascribed to the fact that in 
the year and a half after June 1940 more effective defense was found against 
tanks than against aircraft. Moreover, it was generally agreed by all concerned 
that tank action, to be successful, required close coordination with other arms. 
These developments may also explain the changes observable in the attitude at 
GHQ, which was less inclined to favor armored army and corps commands at 
the end of 1941 than at the beginning of that year. 

" (i) Memo of ACofS G-3 WD for TAG, 26 Jan 42, sub: Proposed Orgn for Hq Armd F. Marked 
"not used." G-3/42117. (2) Memo of ACofS G-3 WD for TAG, 3 Feb 42, sub as above. G-3/42117. 
(3) T/O 17-200-1, 3 Feb 42. 

*^ Memo of CG Armd F for ACofS G-3 WD, 22 Jan 42, sub: Orgn for New GHQ Tk Bns. AGO Records, 
320.2 (6-5-40) (3) Sec iB, 



Sec below, "Reorganization of Ground Troops for Combat.' 



IV. GHQ and Tank Destroyer 
Elements 



In the summer of 1940 a most urgent problem was presented by the demon- 
stration in Europe of the offensive capabilities of the tank. The shockingly sud- 
den collapse of France had been brought about by fast-moving German armored 
divisions used in conjunction with dive bombers and infantry. Even in some 
military circles the air-tank team was considered invincible, and many Army 
officers, working independently, turned their attention to the problem of 
stopping the armored force attack. Consideration had been given before 1940 
to antitank tactics and equipment, but after the disaster in Europe this field of 
military study became widely active. In the development of initial doctrine, 
organization, and training of tank destroyer elements GHQ was to play an 
important part. 

The subject bristled with disputed questions. Could tanks best be stopped by 
guns or by other tanks.? Assuming that antitank guns were extensively de- 
veloped, how much of the strength of the Army should be used for this purpose ? 
How heavy a caliber should be adopted in view of the concurrent need of 
mobility.? Should mobile antitank guns be towed or self-propelled.? Should they 
be regarded as weapons to be used by the several arms, or organized and admin- 
istered as if constituting a new arm ? In batde, should they await the appearance 
of enemy tanks or aggressively search out and locate enemy tanks? Should they 
maneuver freely during the fire fight or should they fire only from previously 
selected concealed positions .? 

Combat experience of United States forces in later years helped to clarify 
some of these questions, but preparedness required that decisions be made before 
combat. On all questions concerning antitank artillery many shades of opinion 
could be found at all times. In general there were two schools: those who be- 
lieved in intensive tank destroyer development and those who were skeptical 
of such development. Both schools could eventually point to ways in which 
their anticipations had proved correct and those of their opponents mistaken. 
In such an atmosphere of controversy there was a tendency for all concerned 



74 



ORGANIZATION OF GROUND COMBAT TROOPS 



to think that they had been right all the time — to feel that what they believed 
in 1943 or 1945 was what they had believed in 1940 or 1941. 

Views at GHQ on Antitank, Measures 

General McNair was one of the most aggressive advocates of the movement 
to develop tank destroyers. Though the tank destroyers developed did not turn 
out as at first expected, the primary contention of their proponents, that tanks 
could be stopped by guns, was fully confirmed by experience. The tank terror 
of 1940 was overcome. Some of the views which General McNair held in 1940, 
1941, and 1942 required modification when the destroyers had been used in 
battle. Through 1942 he urged an expansion of the tank destroyer program which 
by 1943 generally regarded as excessive. In his desire to overcome a defensive 
psychology he stated his beliefs in unqualified terms which may have con- 
tributed, during the period extending through 1942, to an employment of tank 
destroyers which he himself believed to require correction in 1943. Then the 
doctrine was promulgated that, while tank destroyers must be aggressive in 
reconnaissance and selection of concealed positions, they must not "chase" tanks 
or maneuver aggressively within range of enemy armor.^ 

General McNair came to GHQ in August 1940 with his views on antitank 
measures well developed. He had experimented with antitank organization in 
1937 at San Antonio. He had studied the problem in 1940 while Commandant 
of the Command and General Staff School. He refused to believe that tanks 
could be beaten only by other tanks. He had faith in the antitank mine and the 
antitank gun. He declared in a visit to the War Department General Staff on 29 
June 1940 that the big problem before the War Department was to find means 
of stopping armored divisions and that for this purpose flat trajectory guns, with 
a range of at least 1,500 yards and of heavier caliber than either the 37-mm, or 
the 75-mm. then in use, would be required.^ 

General McNair continued to make these views known after arriving at 
GHQ. Called upon in August 1940 to comment on a list of subjects proposed 
for staff study in the War Department, he recommended the further develop- 

^ For a discussion of this development, see ["Organization and Training of New Ground Combat Ele- 
ments" in this volume. 

' (i) Memo (C) G-3/41665 I for ACofS G-3 WD, 29 Jun 40, sub: Gen McNair's Visit. (2) "With 
reference to antitank defense, it has been a matter of keen interest to me for over ten years, but it took the 
present European War to bring action." Ltr of Gen McNair to Col A. U. Faulkner, 7 Aug 40. McNair 
Correspondence. 



GENERAL HEADQUARTERS, 1940-42 



75 



ment of antitank guns. He declined to concur in a subsequent War Department 
study of antitank measures on the ground that it was grossly inadequate. In re- 
marks on a third War Department proposal he protested that only passive anti- 
tank defense was provided, except in the armored divisions, and expressed his 
preference for antitank "groups" of three battalions, rather than single antitank 
battalions, "in order to afford a better control of large numbers of guns con- 
centrated at a threatened point." The same ideas were repeated in his comments 
on the maneuvers of August, 1940: "There were few if any instances of the em- 
ployment of antitank guns other than passively. Such methods are effective only 
against mechanized reconnaissance vehicles. A mechanized attack invariably 
will be concentrated, calling for a concentration of antitank weapons. The 
smaller the number of antitank guns the greater is the need of holding them as 
a mobile reserve, ready instantly to rush to the point of mechanized attack." 
On 23 September the War Department in Training Circular No. 3, superseding 
instructions dating from March 1938, directed that a minimum of antitank guns 
should be placed in fixed initial positions and a maximum held as a mobile re- 
serve.^ This was the first break in a doctrine of passive defense but was still de- 
fensive in character and scope. 

Delay in Preparing Antitanl{ Measures 

The effort to incorporate the new doctrine in training was attended with 
difficulties. When in the alarm over events in Europe antiaircraft artillery 
regiments were directed on 16 August 1940 to practice antitank fire,* few antitank 
guns existed in divisional artillery; Most antitank weapons were at this time 
organized in antitank companies in infantry regiments. Such decentralization 
ran contrary to the principles favored by GHQ, 

On the matter of antitank mines delays were also xmavoidable. In February 
1941 the War Department initiated a study looking toward modifications in 

' (i) Memo of Gen McNair for Col Ward, 5 Sep 40, sub: Studies by General Staff Divs. 353/36. (2) 
Memo G-3/43107 for CofS USA, i8 Nov 40, sub: Antitank (AT) Defense, and memo of Gen McNair for 
DCofS USA, 30 Dec 40, sub as above. 322.091/3 (Armd F). (3) Ltr of Gen McNair to Maj Campbell, 4 
Sep 40, sub not given. 320.2/20 (GHQ Armies and Corps). (4) Par 33 of draft of Gen McNair submitted 
Co Gen Marshall for ltr to Army comdrs, sub: Comments on Army Maneuvers, virith pencilled "LJM 9/5." 
354.2/8. Par 34 of final copy of same, dated 7 Jan 41. 353/14 (Tng Dirs). (5) Tngr Cir 3, WD, 23 Sep 40, 
sub: Antimechanized Defense. 

* WD ltr AG 353 (8-14-40) M-C to CGs all Corps Areas and Depu and CofCA, 16 Aug 40, sub: Tng 
of AAA Regts in Antimechanized Defense* AGO Records. 



76 



ORGANIZATION OF GROUND COMBAT TROOPS 



published doctrine. GHQ was requested to assemble data from experience in the 
field and to prepare a report, which, however, was not completed until January 
1942, when evidence was at hand from the large fall maneuvers/ 

Meanwhile, little progress was made. In April 1941, so far as was known 
at GHQ, of all the armies and corps only the VI Corps and the Armored Force 
had issued any instructions on antitank defense * "It is beyond belief," wrote 
General McNair on 12 April 1941, "that so little could be done on the question, 
in view of all that has happened and is happening abroad. I for one have missed 
no opportunity to hammer for something real in the way of antitank defense, but 
so far have gotten nowhere. I have no reason now to feel encouraged but can only 
hope this apathy will not continue indefinitely." ^ 

Discussions on this problem were in fact taking place at this time in the War 
Department General Staff, both in G-2 and in G-^, Brig. Gen. Sherman Miles, 
G-2, produced a memorandum on i March 1941 entitled "Evaluation of Modern 
Battle Forces," based upon military experience in France and Libya, He affirmed 
that the air-tank combination, having rendered ineffective the old infantry- 
artillery combination, had revolutionized warfare as much as the battles of 
Adrianople and Crecy, and concluded that either the air-tank combination would 
become the nucleus of the army of the future or the infantry division must 
develop means to repel tank assaults.* 

General McNair, asked for his comments, found General Miles' position 
extreme. He preferred a middle-of-the-road interpretation of European events. 
This same tendency had been apparent in his directive of 4 January on "Com- 
bined Training," in which he prescribed that the full strength of aviation and 
armored elements should be carefully simulated in all combined exercises, but 
that exaggeration of the menace should be avoided and the troops not left with a 
sense that effective defense was impossible. Commenting on General Miles* 
study, he observed that the Germans had used twenty infantry divisions in 
France. Rather than revolutionize the infantry division, he proposed the forma- 
tion of strong air and tank units and the creation of mobile masses of antiaircraft 

* (i) WD Itr AG 353 (1-2 5-41) P-C to CofS GHQ, 14 Feb 41, sub: Tactics and Technique for the 
Use of AT Mines. With supporting documents. 479. i/i. (2) Ltr (C) of CofS GHQ for TAG, 20 Oct 41, 
sub as above. 353/3 (AT)(C). (3) Ltr of Gen McNair to TAG, 21 Jan 42, sub as above. 479.1/20. 

'Memo of Lt Col F. J. de Rohan, Inf Sec GHQ for CofS GHQ, 10 Apr 41, sub: Tk Hunting. Inds 
filed separately. 353/34 (AT). 

^ Personal ltr of Gen McNair to Lt Col R. T. Heard, 12 Apr 41. 470,71/2. 

* WD memo G— 2/2016-1297 of Gen Miles for CofS USA, i Mar 41, sub: Evaluation of Modern Batdf 
Forces. 059/1 (Mil Stats). 



GENERAL HEADQUARTERS, 1940-42 



77 



and antitank guns to cope with the air-tank menace: "The need of a greatly 
expanded mobile force of suitable antitank guns has been pointed out repeatedly, 
but is not being procured." In further memoranda of 9 May and i July 1941 
General McNair reiterated his faith in the standard infantry division, once an 
adequate antitank force, distinct from the infantry, had been created.® 

The action initiated by G-3 of the War Department led to a series of 
conferences on the antitank question. In the first, occurring on 15 April 1941, 
the War Plans Division of the War Department General Staff, GHQ, and the 
Chiefs of Infantry, Cavalry, Field Artillery, Coast Artillery, and the Armored 
Force were represented.^** No general conclusions on antitank doctrine could 
be reached, though all present expressed approval of offensive tactics. Disagree- 
ment appeared over the organization and command of antitank units. In gen- 
eral, the chief of each arm favored the placing of antitank means in units of his 
arm. It was finally decided to retain the antitank companies in infantry regi- 
ments — GHQ alone not concurring. Divisional antitank battalions were to be 
created and antitank 37's to be transferred from the Field Artillery — the Chief 
of Field Artillery disapproving. A central reserve of GHQ antitank battalions 
was formed, though in smaller numbers than desired by GHQ. The Chiefs of 
Infantry and of Cavalry both offered reasons why the responsibility for de- 
veloping antitank defense should be entrusted to his branch. On branch respon- 
sibility no conclusion was reached, nor was provision made for establishing an 
antitank force distinct from the older branches. The GHQ representative at 
the conference concluded his report to General McNair in these words: "It 
is therefore recommended that GHQ attempt to get the War Department 
promptly to place the development of antitank defense under the commander 
of a tentative Antitank Force set up at a center reasonably close to the station 
of the First or Second Armored Division." " 

A second antitank conference on 10 May was attended only by representa- 
tives of the War Department General Staff and by Colonel Kingman of GHQ. 
The discussion turned chiefly on material, G-3 favoring self-propelled mounts 
for antitank guns against the fears of GHQ that guns so mounted might prove 

• (i) Memo of Gen McNair for CofS USA, 12 Mar 41, sub as in footnote 8 above. With supporting 
documents. 059/1 (Mil Stats). (2) Par 10, Itr of Gen McNair to Army Comdrs, 4 Jan 41, sub: Combined 
Tng. 353/13 (TngDirs). 

^"For steno record of meeting 15 April see Tab B to memo G-3/43107 for CofS USA, a8 May 41, sub: 
Defense against Armd Fs. AGO Records, 320.2 (6-5-40) Sec lA (Orgn and Expansion of the Armd F). 

" Memo of Lt Col A. F. Kingman for CofS GHQ, 17 Apr 41, sub: WD Conference on AT Defense, 15 
Apr 41. 337/11. 



78 



ORGANIZATION OF GROUND COMBAT TROOPS 



inaccurate in fire. General McNair's representative reported that he had brought 
up the question of organization and continued 

On the basis of the agreement arrived at in the meeting of April 15 that antitank 
weapons should be withdrawn from the Field Artillery and placed in divisions and higher 
antitank units, I suggested that this be done at once and that provisional antitank organiza- 
tions be formed, including division battalions as well as units of higher echelons, so as actu- 
ally to test your scheme of mobile antitank defense in the coming maneuvers. I pointed 
out that despite their summary dismissal of GHQ's recommendations for the setting up of 
an antitank center and the centralization under one headquarters of antitank development, 
and their favoring of tank-chaser units, that there are no such units in existence and that 
the coming maneuvers afford an opportunity to test GHQ's recommendations. The sugges- 
tion apparendy fell on fertile ground .... 

Creation of the Planning Branch, WDGS 

At this point, in mid-May 194 1, the influence of General Marshall made 
itself felt. In a talk at GHQ on 13 May he observed that there had been much 
opposition in the War Department to the establishment of GHQ in the pre- 
ceding summer and that there had been practically a solid front against the 
adoption of new ideas. He went on to say that GHQ should "retain an open 
mind with reference to innovations." On the next day, 14 May, he directed G-3 
of the War Department to take immediate action on antitank measures and to 
create a Planning Branch whose sole function would be to devise new methods 
of warfare. On 15 May such a Planning Branch was established under Lt. Col, 
Andrew D. Bruce, an active sponsor of antitank development and soon to be 
the first commander of a new Tank Destroyer Center." 

Creation of the Provisional Antitan\ Battalions 

A third conference, held in Colonel Bruce's office on 26 May with GHQ 
represented, adopted conclusions generally in accord with the stand taken by 
GHQ. To win concurrence from the Chief of Infantry, antitank companies were 

"Memo of Lt Col A. F. Kingman for CofS GHQ, 10 May 41, sub: Rpt on Meeting Called by Gen 
Bryden on Branch Responsibility for AT Defense. 337/17. On GHQ preference for towed guns, sec also 
GHQ 1st ind to G-3 WD, 16 Jan 41, on GHQ Itr, Col Kingman to CofS GHQ, 13 Jan 41, sub: Mechanized 
Antitank Orgn. 322.091/5 (Armd F). 

" (i) "Notes on Gen Marshall's Talk to GHQ, 9:30 A. M. 13 May." 337/3 (C). (2) Memo CX:S 
II 103-6 for ACofS G-3 WD, 14 May 41, sub: Defense against Armd Fs. 353/15 (AT, Tab A). (3) Memo 
G-3/311 of Ex Ofl G-3 WD, 15 May 41, sub: Planning Branch. 337/17. 



GENERAL HEADQUARTERS, 1940-42 



79 



left with the infantry regiments, against the policy preferred both by GHQ and 
by Colonel Bruce, but in each divisional and higher headquarters an antitank 
officer was to be appointed. The new provisional antitank battalions were to be 
organized at once. Those for divisions would take their weapons from divisional 
artillery; those for GHQ reserve and for some divisions would obtain theirs from 
corps and GHQ field artillery brigades. To facilitate this decision, a recommen- 
dation on the subject from the Chief of Field Artillery was removed from 
discussion by order from the Chief of Staff of the War Department. It was 
decided also to establish before the end of 1941 a "large antitank unit" along the 
line of the antitank force long recommended by GHQ.^* 

Though the provisional antitank battalions were activated by War Depart- 
ment letter on 24 June 1941, they were not tested until the maneuvers in Septem- 
ber. The antitank assistant G-3's were appointed .^^ The Tank Destroyer Center 
was not set up until i December. 

The Antitank Conference of July 1941 

In June 1941 advocates of a strong and rapid development of antitank units 
found encouragement in two events which made that month a turning point in 
the development of antitank preparations. The vulnerability of tanks was demon- 
strated by the Germans, who managed to destroy over 200 British tanks on the 
Egyptian-Libyan frontier. G-2 of the War Department found this to be "one of 
the first cases in this war when a tank attack has been definitely stopped." Anti- 
aircraft and other artillery had been used by the Germans most effectively against 
tanks, and orders went out immediately to units of this type in the U, S. Army 
to intensify their antitank training. General McNair, agreeing that all possible 
types of cannon should be employed against tanks, warned that their use should 
not delay the development of a series of special antitank guns.^^ 

" Memo of Lt Col A. F. Kingman for CofS GHQ, 26 May 41, sub: G-3 Planning Br Conference on AT 
Defense, 26 May. 337/17. 

"WD Itr AG 320.2 (6-19-41) MR-M-C to CGs all Armies, 24 Jun 41, sub: Orgn of Provisional Div 
and GHQ AT Bns for Use in Current Maneuvers. AGO Records. 

" (i) Memo (C) G-2/20 16-1348 for CofS USA, 26 Jun 41, sub: Use of AAA Against Tks. 353/1 
(AT)(C). (2) Memo of GCM[arshall] for Gen McNair, 25 Jun 41, sub not given. 353/12 (AT). (3) Ltr 
of CofS GHQ to CGs All Armies and Def Comds, 17 Jul 41, sub: Tng of Mobile CA Units in Antimechanized 
Defense and Firing on Landing Boats. 353/22 (AT). (4) Memo (C) of Gen McNair for CofS USA, 10 Jul 41, 
sub: Use of AAA Against Tks. 353/1 (AT) (C). 



8o 



ORGANIZATION OF GROUND COMBAT TROOPS 



The second source of encouragement was found in the June maneuvers of 
the Second Army in Tennessee. General McNair found the antitank action, 
while still too passive, more effectively handled than he had anticipated and con- 
firmatory of his own views on antitank organization and tactics. From the 
maneuvers he wrote: "It can be expected that the location of hostile armored 
elements will be known practically constantly, thus permitting antitank opposi- 
tion to be moved correspondingly, and massed at the proper point. This is the 
question which has raised doubt in the minds of those who incline toward dis- 
sipating our antitank means by organic assignment to units all over the Army," 

To prepare for the fall maneuvers and to promote education in antitank 
measures, the recently appointed antitank officers of divisions and higher units 
were assembled in a great antitank conference called by G-3 of the War Depart- 
ment and held at the Army War College from 14 to 17 July 1941. A feeling of 
confidence and enthusiasm prevailed. Colonel Bruce and others active in antitank 
planning explained the current program. Brig. Gen. Harry L. Twaddle, G-3, 
who opened the meeting, and General McNair, who made the closing remarks, 
agreed that smashing the tank was the most urgent problem before the Army, 
that progress toward its solution was being made, and that the main task of the 
antitank officers on returning to their units must be to overcome the excessive 
fear of armored attack felt by die troops since the fall of France.^^ 

Testing of Antitanf^ Weapons in GHQ-Directed Maneuvers 

It was the intention of GHQ to test out, in the GHQ-directed fall maneuvers, 
its policies of aggressive use and centralized control of antitank guns. The umpire 
manual had been carefully revised to give an accurate picture. New rules were 
prescribed for the laying of dummy mine fields.^® The antitank officers of field 
units were informed of developments in the conference just past. The pro- 
visional antitank battalions were available. They were to be attached to the Third 
Army in the September maneuvers for use against the armored elements of the 
Second. On 8 August 194 1 GHQ issued a directive to the commanding general 

"Personal Itr of Gen McNair to Col J, A. Consadine, 7 Jul 41. 353/18 (AT). 

"(i) "Notes on G-3 Antitank Conference, Jul 14-20, 1941, War College, Washington, D. C." Sep- 
arately filed in 353/98 (AT). (2) Memos of Lt Col A. F. Kingman for CofS GHQ, 16, 17, 18, 22 Jul 41, 
sub: WD AT Conference. 334.8/9. 

"Ltr of CofS GHQ to CGs All Armies and CofArmd F, 6 Aug 41, sub: Use of Dummy AT Mines in 
Maneuvers. 479.1/10. 



GENERAL HEADQUARTERS, 1940-42 



8i 



of the Third Army on the tactical employment of antitank battalions,^ He was 
instructed to organize nine battalions into three "groups" of three battalions each 
and to have in addition a headquarters company, ground and air reconnaissance 
elements, and intelligence, signal, engineer, and infantry units, all fully motor- 
ized. Both offensive and defensive tactics were outlined, with preference expressed 
for a speedy and aggressive action to search out and attack opposing tanks before 
they had assumed formation. The ideas championed by General McNair were 
finally to be tried, though the War Department Training Directive for 1941-42 
issued at this time still reflected a defensive conception of antitank operations.^^ 
After the September maneuvers General McNair expressed satisfaction with 
the way in which the antitank units had been handled, pointing only to a per- 
sisting tendency to commit them to positions prematurely and to dissipate them. 
The provisional battalions with their group organization were continued in 
being and used in the Carolina maneuvers in November." On this occasion, as 
noted above, 983 tanks were ruled put out of action— 91 percent by guns — and 
the ist Armored Division was ruled by the umpires to have been destroyed. 

Progressive Acceptance of Principles Favored at GHQ 

The elaboration of long-range plans on the organization of antitank units 
progressed simultaneously with these tests in the field, and the principles favored 
by GHQ found increasing acceptance. In answer to General Marshall's request 
of 14 May, G-3 of the War Department produced a detailed memorandum on 
18 August 1941. It was designed for an army of 55 divisions, now envisaged 
by the War Department, and proposed a ratio of 4 antitank battalions per 
division: 55, or i each, for the divisions, 55 for armies and corps, and no for 
GHQ. General Marshall had stipulated in May that the question of a new branch 
or arm should not be raised. The old arms — Infantry, Field Artillery, etc. — 
were therefore given by G-3 responsibility for creating the new antitank bat- 

"Ltr of CofS GHQ to CG third Army, 8 Aug 41, sub: GHQ AT Units in GHQ-Directcd Maneuvers. 
353/30 (Tng Dirs), 

" WD Itr AG 353 (6-16-41) MT M~C to CofS GHQ, CGs, etc, 19 Aug 41, sub: WD Tng Dir, 1941-42, 
AGO Records, Par 8 g: "While the offensive spirit and offensive tactics arc fundamental doctrine in American 
training, antiaircraft and antimechanized defense must receive constant special attention in view of the 
experiences of the present war." 

** (i) Ltr of Gen McNair to CG Third Army, lo Oct 41, sub: Comments on Second vs Third Army 
Maneuvers. 353/595 (Third Army), (2) Ltr of Director Hq GHQ to CG Third Army, 25 Sep 41, sub; GHQ 
Provisional AT Gps. 353/^5 (AT). (3) WD ltr AG 320.2 (9-29-41) MR-M-C to CGs all Armies, 2 Oct 41, 
sub: Orgn of Provisional Div and GHQ AT Bns for Use in Current Maneuvers. 353/15 (AT). 



82 



ORGANIZATION OF GROUND COMBAT TROOPS 



talions, and the antitank center, on whose estabUshment all were agreed, was to 
be put under the authority of the Chief of the Armored Force.^^ 

On 2 September General McNair, praising the boldness of the proposals, 
found them in keeping with the urgency of the situation but withheld his con- 
currence. He preferred a separate antitank force, to include all antitank guns 
except those in infantry regiments. He objected to the subordination of the 
antitank force to the Armored Force, thinking the two should be rivals. He 
objected to the organic inclusion of antitank battalions in divisions, corps, and 
armies, believing that they should be massed for attachment when and where 
needed. He considered 220 antitank battalions more than were necessary for an 
Army of 55 divisions, and on the question of self-propelled versus towed guns 
he called for further investigation, recommending that whichever type was 
found to be better should be adopted for all antitank battalions. G-i and G-4 of 
the War Department Staff concurred in his comments.^* 

General McNair's recommendations were embodied, step by step, in the 
decisions reached by the War Department, except for his view on the total num- 
ber of battalions. This exception, however, was not of immediate practical 
importance since the production rate of equipment made possible the training 
of only 63 battalions in the near future. 

The Office of the Chief of Staff acted on the G-3 memorandum on 8 
October, The provisions for dividing antitank responsibility among chiefs of 
branches were rescinded. The antitank center, made independent of the 
Armored Force, was to be established under War Department control. This 
much was consistent with the recommendations of GHQ. But the action of 8 
October provided for organic antitank battalions in divisions, corps, and armies 
and for the continued association of battalions already provisionally organized 
with the Infantry, Field Artillery, or other arm in which they originated.^^ 

The Tanl{ Destroyer Center and the Tan\ Destroyer Battalions 

A War Department letter of 27 November 1941 officially ordered the activa- 
tion on or about i December of a Tank Destroyer Tactical and Firing Center at 

" WD memo 0-3/43107 for CofS USA, 18 Aug 41, sub: Orgn of AT Units in the Army. 353/15 (AT). 

"Tab E. memo of Gen McNair for ACofS G-3 WD, 2 Sep 41, sub: Orgn of AT Units in the Army. 
353/15 (AT). Tabs F and G give the concurrences of G-i and G-4. 

"WD memo OCS 21103-20 for ACofS G-3 WD, 8 Oct 41, sub: Orgn of AT Units in the Army. 
353/15 (AT), 



GENERAL HEADQUARTERS, 1940-42 



83 



Fort Meade, Md. It was to include a Tank Destroyer Board. Colonel Bruce of 
the Planning Branch of G-3 was to command the new center. The letter of 27 
November made no provision for antitank battalions in divisions, corps, or 
armies. The fifty-three antitank battalions whose immediate activation was 
ordered were all to be under GHQ, but they might be attached to lower echelons 
for training.^® 

A War Department order of 3 December reduced the connections still 
existing between antitank battalions and the several arms. "Antitank battalions" 
were redesignated "tank destroyer battalions," the old term savoring too much 
of defensive tactics. All tank destroyer battalions, it was repeated, were allotted to 
GHQ. Antitank units in cavalry divisions and in field artillery battalions and 
regiments in the continental United States were to be inactivated. Infantry anti- 
tank battalions were to lose the name "infantry," be renumbered, and be 
redesignated as "tank destroyer battalions." The net effect was to create a new 
homogeneous tank destroyer force, composed of battalions only nominally con- 
nected with the older arms. Of these battalions only the 893d was complete from 
the first, with full reconnaissance and other supporting elements. It was assigned 
on 30 January as a school unit to the Tank Destroyer Tactical and Firing Center." 

The higher organization of the tank destroyer battalions remained to be 
settled. As early as August 1940 General McNair had wished the battalions to be 
combined into groups, which had been provisionally organized for the fall 
maneuvers of 1941. By the end of 1941, however, the component battalions, not 
the groups, had been shifted from a provisional to a permanent basis. On 24 
January 1942 the commanding general of the Western Defense Command 
again raised the question by pointing out that all tank destroyer battalions at the 
moment were separate GHQ units. He recommended that one light battalion 
be organically included in each infantry division and that a tank destroyer group 
headquarters be assigned to each army corps to which two or more heavy bat- 
talions were attached. The reply of the War Department followed the recom- 
mendations of GHQ. No tank destroyer battalions were to be organically 
included in divisions. Group headquarters were to be organized, but on the 

*" WD Itr AG 320.2 (11-5-41) MR-M-C to CO TD Tactical and Firing Center, 27 Nov 41, sub: Orgn 
of TD Tactical and Firing Center, 320,2/736. Supporting documents in 680.1/31* 

" (0 WD Itr AG 320.2 (n-17-41) MR-M-C to CGs All Armies and Corps Areas and CofArmd F, 
3 Dec 41, sub: Orgn of TD Bns. 320.2/736, (2) WD Itr AG 320.2 (1-24-42) MR-M-C to CGs All Armies 
and Corps Areas and CofArmd F, 30 Jan 42^ sub: Orgn of TD Bns. 320.2/736. 



84 



ORGANIZATION OF GROUND COMBAT TROOPS 



insistence of General Clark they were to remain directly under GHQ, not 
assigned to army corps.^* 

Thus antitank policies favored at GHQ at the time of its establishment were, 
on the eve of its dissolution, the accepted policies of the War Department. These 
policies called for a separate antitank force, distinct from the several arms, with 
tank destroyers removed from organic assignment to divisions, corps, and armies 
and concentrated under the commanding general of the field forces in order to 
allow quick massing of mobile antitank power, preferably for offensive action. 
In 1942 the tank destroyer establishment underwent a tremendous expansion 
under the guidance of the Army Ground Forces,^® Some of the principles agreed 
upon in March 1942 had to be revised in the light of combat experience, but the 
insistence of GHQ upon a strong antitank force had helped to bring into 
existence an organization well fitted to meet future demands, 

(i) Ltr of CG WDC to CG FF, 24 Jan 42, sub: Control of TD Bus. 320.2/5 (TD Units). (2) 1st, 
2nd, and 3d ind on above. (3) GHQ disposition sheet, 9 Feb 42, with Gen Clark's "Memo for G-5," 14 
Feb 42, on reverse of page, 320.2/5 (TD). 

*"For this development see AGF Historical Section, The Tank Destroyer History, and "Organization 
and Training of New Ground Combat Elements," in this volume. 



V. The Relation of GHQ to 
Amphibious Training 

Provision for amphibious training of Army ground units antedated the 
activation of GHQ on 26 July 1940. On 26 June 1940 the ist and 3d Divisions 
were directed to practice landing operations/ This order followed shortly upon 
the German occupation of western Europe, which closed all friendly ports on 
the European Continent and threatened to bring the French West Indies and 
other French possessions in the Western Hemisphere under Axis control. In 
October 1940 the War Department General Staff initiated the organization of 
"emergency expeditionary forces"; GHQ concurred on 4 December 1940, and 
by July 1941 three task forces had been constituted for action in the Caribbean 
and Newfoundland. 

Though the need of amphibious training was recognized, training in this 
form of combat remained limited in scope for a year after June 1940. Sufficient 
special equipment was not available. Moreover, the training policies of GHQ 
prescribed that special training, such as amphibious^ should not seriously inter- 
rupt the development of general soldierly fitness. Of the three task forces 
provided for after October 1940, only Task Force i, designed for a mission in 
the Caribbean, required the occupation of a hostile shore against probable op- 
position. For this task the ist Division was selected in November 1940, It was 
chosen because it had received more amphibious training up to that time than 
any other division. Even its training had not been extensive, reaching the 
maneuver stage only in February 1941. At that time only 10 percent of the 
personnel of the division took part in the amphibious maneuver at Culebra, 
and in June 1941 only 20 percent of the divisional personnel engaged in a 
second amphibious maneuver.^ 

' (i) WD Itr (C) AG 353 (6-17-40) M-C to CG First Army. 26 Jun 40, sub: Tng of ist and 3d Divs 
in Landing Operations. 353/4 (C). (a) Similar Itr (C) to CG Fourth Army. 353/4 (S). (3) WD memo 
(S) WPD 4161-3 for CofS USA, 12 Nov 40, sub: Emergency Expeditionary Forces. With related documents. 
381/4 (S). 

* (i) Personal Itr (C) of Gen McNair to Gen Thompson, CG 3d Div, 10 Mar 41. 353/1 (C). (2) Ltr 
(S) of CG ist Div to CG AFAF, 28 Jan 42, sub: Rpt on January Amph Exercise. 353/24 (AFAF) (S). 



86 



ORGANIZATION OF GROUND COMBAT TROOPS 



In the summer of 1941 the amphibious training program was expanded. 
Some of the War Department's stategic plans included amphibious operations, 
and the War Department Training Directive for 1941-42, compiled in June 
194 15 specified the preparation of task forces as one of the objectives of the 
coming year. The Joint Army-Navy Board issued training plans for both coasts. 
The Carib Plan of 21 June 1941 organized the ist Division and the ist Marine 
Division into a ist Joint Training Force, which subsequently developed into 
the Amphibious Force, Atlantic Fleet. The Pearl Plan of 9 September 1941 
designated the 3d Division and the 2d Marine Division as the Second Joint 
Training Force, subsequently known as the Amphibious Force, Pacific Fleet. 
Each Joint Training Force — a term by which only the landing force was 
meant — was put under command of a Marine general, and in each case com- 
mand of the whole enterprise rested with the Navy.^ 

The Role of GHQ 

The role of GHQ in amphibious training was at first very ill-defined. The 
Carib Plan made no mention of GHQ, and the ist Joint Training Force began 
operations late in June 1941 before the staff at GHQ had received definite in- 
structions regarding its responsibilities in the matter. The War Department 
directive of 3 July, enlarging the functions of GHQ, made no specific reference 
to amphibious training, though it indicated that the command of certain task 
forces would be assigned to GHQ. A War Department directive of 8 July, citing 
the directive of 3 July, was the first step in this direction. It instructed General 
McNair "to take over, at once, the functions of GHQ in connection with the 
Carib training operation." The nature of these functions was not made clear. 
The directive merely observed that, with "all responsibility for training" resting 
with the Navy, the Army's responsibility was "principally to make available, at 
the proper time and place, the Army units involved, and the use of Army 
facilities as called for." How these Army responsibilities were to be divided 
between the GHQ staff and the War Department staff was not stated.* 

Correspondence between GHQ and War Plans Division relieved some of 
the uncertainty. On 7 July GHQ, in a memorandum to WPD, requested a clari- 

" (i) The Carib Plan (C) J. B. 350 (Serial 698), 21 Jun 41, is on file in AWC Records 242-16. (2) Pearl 
Plan (C) J.B.350 (Serial 705), 9 Sep 41. 353/1 (AFPF) (C). 

* (i) WD Itr AG 320.2 (6-19-41) MC-E-M to CofS GHQ, 3 Jul 41, sub: Enlargement of the Functions 
of GHQ. 320.2/3/34. (2) WD Itr (S) AG 353 (7-5-41) MC-E to CofS GHQ, 8 Jul 41, sub: Responsibility 
of GHQ for CARIB Tng Opns. 353/6 (Tng Force CARIB) (S). 



GENERAL HEADQUARTERS, 1940-42 



87 



fication of its relationship with the Navy and made two recommendations: first 
that WPD confer with GHQ in formulating joint plans with the Navy Depart- 
ment, and second that GHQ be authorized to confer directly with Maj. Gen. 
Holland M. Smith, U. S. M. C, Commanding General of the First Joint Training 
Force. WPD on 9 July accepted both recommendations. The first was met by 
WPD's promise to consult GHQ. The second was not merely accepted, but was 
broadened in scope. WPD stated that "subordinate planning, and operations in 
connection with the execution of the basic joint directive and subordinate plans 
will be a responsibility of GHQ. In this connection, GHQ should deal directly 
with Navy echelons subordinate to the Chief of Naval Operations." * 

The principles of administration worked out in connection with the Carib 
Plan became somewhat more explicit in the preparation of the Pearl Plan. GHQ 
recommended, and the War Department designated, the 3d Division and sup- 
porting units as the Army component of the Second Joint Training Force.^ The 
completed plan, issued on 9 September, named GHQ as the agency charged with 
"the execution of all Army responsibilities under this plan." But "execution" 
meant in practice only the administration of certain details, for the War Depart- 
ment continued to act without consultation witlTGHQ, and the Navy Depart- 
ment had charge of training, which was the essence of the operation.' 

The Amphibious Force, Atlantic Fleet 

The first phase of the Carib Operation was executed as planned, but the site 
of the second phase was changed from Puerto Rico to the New River area. North 
Carolina. General McNair and eight members of his staff witnessed the landing 
exercises. They found that the ist Division, which had practiced amphibious 
movements for a year, showed considerable proficiency,* but on the whole the 
operation was not considered satisfactory at GHQ, General Malony, Deputy 
Chief of Staff, in a memorandum for General Marshall dated 29 October 1941,* 

■ (i) Memo (S) of CofS GHQ for WPD, 7 Jul 41. sub: Tng for Joint O'seas Opns. 353/7 (Tng Force 
CARIB) (S). (2) WD memo (S) WPD 4232-33 for CG GHQ, 9 Jul 41, sub as above. 353/7 (S). 

•Memo (C) of Gen McNair for WPD, 19 Jul 41, sub: Amph Tng for Army and Marine Trs on West 
Coast. 353/34 (C). 

* For Pearl Plan see | footnote 3 (2).| 

'GHQ memo for DCofS USA, 5 Aug 41, sub: Summary of Activities, GHQ, for Week Ending Aug 5, 
194 1, 3 1 9.1/25 (Wkly Rpts of GHQ Activities). 

•GHQ memo (S) for CofS USA. 29 Oct 41, sub: Preparation for Amph Opns. 353/2 (AFAF) (8). 



88 



ORGANIZATION OF GROUND COMBAT TROOPS 



listed four major causes of the deficiencies shown : lack of time for preparation, 
inexperience, lack of planning, and complicated channels of command* He 
especially emphasized the last, pointing to poor coordination within the Army 
and among the Army, Navy, and Marine Corps. He enumerated eleven reme- 
diel measures already taken and made six further recommendations. To these 
proposals no definite answers were received/*" 

When during the summer of 1941 the threat of Axis control over the 
Atlantic increased, additional amphibious assault forces seemed to be needed 
to forestall potential enemy moves. The Joint Strategic Committee of the War 
and Navy Departments worked out basic plans for the possible occupation of 
Adantic islands by United States forces," and between 18 August and 2 Sep- 
tember the staff sections at GHQ developed a corresponding theater of opera- 
tions plan/^ The First Joint Training Force, disbanded after the Carib exercise 
except for the joint staff, was in effect reconstituted as the Amphibious Force, 
Atlantic Fleet, comprising the ist Division and the ist Marine Division with 
supporting units, and was again put under command of General Smith of the 
Marine Corps. Unity of command was vested in the Navy, 

The selection of Army units to take part in the proposed operation brought 
to light a division of authority in the War Department. Designation of such 
units was clearly understood to rest with the General Staff of the War Depart- 
ment, but recommendation of units for designation, i. e., their actual selection 
from among all units in the Army, was a power exercised by both GHQ and 
the General Staff. As a result, proposed troop lists for the force down to station 
hospitals and platoons of bakers passed back and forth, amended and counter- 
amended, between GHQ and the War Department from September on into 
December." 

"*WD Itr (S) AG 320.2 ( 1 1-29-4 MSC-C to CofS GHQ, 19 Dec 41, sub: Preparation for Amph 
Opns, 353/2 (AFAF) (S). This letter^ written in another connection, gives an indirect and casual reply. 

"WD Itr (S) AG 353 (9-3-41) MC-E to CofS GHQ, 23 Sep 41, sub: Tng of ist Div and Sup- 
porting Army Units for Landing Opns. 353/1 (AFAF) (S). 

^*Memo (S) of Gen McNair for CG FF, 15 Sep 41, sub: Quarterly Rpt of Planning and Opns Activities, 
GHQ, to include Sept. to, 1941, 320.2/1 (GHQ) (S). 

"(i) See footnote 11 above. (3) GHQ memo (S) for ACofS WPD, 9 Oct 41, sub: Units of ist 
Div and Supporting Army Units for Landing Opns. (3) WD Itr (S) AG 354.21 (i 0-7-41) MC-E to CofS 
GHQ, 29 Oct 41, sub: Joint Exercise in Forced Landings against Opposition. (4) Memo (S) WPD 4232-62 
for CofS GHQ, rubber-stamped 29 Nov 41, sub: Amph Tng in New River Area. (5) GHQ distribution 
sheet (S) attached to preceding with pencilled note signed L[emnitzer] G-3. (6) GHQ kr (S) to TAG, 
I Dec 41, sub: Gray-2 Force and Joint Exercise in Forced Landings. (7) TAG ist ind (S), 23 Dec 41, on 
preceding. (8) Incl 4 (S) to preceding ind. All these documents are in 353/1 and /2 (AFAF) (S). 



GENERAL HEADQUARTERS, 1940-42 



89 



The training exercise of the force, first planned for December, was post- 
poned in October until January 1942 since naval commitments elsewhere made 
impracticable the initial idea of a dress rehearsal in Puerto Rico. With the 
declaration of war and the appearance of danger from submarines, the landing 
operations scheduled for the New River area were hastily shifted to Cape Henry, 
By a last-minute change of command General Smith became director of ma- 
neuvers instead of commanding general of the operation. Finally, from 12 to 
14 January, a little more than half the personnel of the ist Division carried 
out a landing maneuver against opposition simulated by the ii6th Regimental 
Combat Team, Three officers from G-5, GHQ, observed the action, in which 
the GHQ umpire manual was used. The results of the exercises were hardly 
encouraging. General Smith's director headquarters adjudged all landings 
unsuccessful.^* 

After the Cape Henry maneuver General Smith requested that the ist 
Division, together with the 70th Tank Battalion and the 36th Engineers, con- 
tinue training at their home station. Fort Devens, according to training direc- 
tives supplied by the Amphibious Force, Atlantic Fleet. GHQ declined the 
request for the ist Division but approved it for the 70th Tank Battalion and 
the 36th Engineers, Its basic policy toward amphibious training became evident 
in the directive to these two units, which were ordered to devote two-thirds of 
their time to the general program outlined in the directive of 31 October 1941, 
entitled "Post-Maneuver Training," and only one-third to the continuation and 
development of special amphibious skills.^" 

Two reasons chiefly influenced GHQ in its nonconcurrence in General 
Smith's request. One was the need for reassembling the ist Division as a 
tactical unit. In the past year this division had engaged in five amphibious 
maneuvers, in each case with only a fraction of its personnel. In view of this fact 
the divisional commander now strongly recommended a future course of training 
in which the division could act as a whole. The second reason for not accept- 
ing General Smith's request was the sudden need of the ist Division for other 
duties. GHQ had been called upon to suggest elements of a new force proposed 

" (i) TSt Div Itr (S) to AFAF, 28 Jan 42, sub: Rpt on January Annph Exercises. 353/^4 (AFAF) (S). 
(2) ETO and First Army Itr (C) to CG FF GHQ, 3 Feb 42, sub: Rpt on Joint Army and Navy Exercises, 
Cape Henry, Va, 353/28 (AFAF) (C). (3) GHQ memo (C), G-5 for Asst AG GHQ, 13 Jan 42, sub: Obsn 
of Amph F Exercise, Jan 12. 319.1/2 (Summary of Weekly Activities, GHQ, 1942) (C). 

" (i) AFAF Itr (C) to CofS GHQ, 26 Jan 42, sub: Tng Dir of ist Inf Div and Associated Army Units. 
(2) GHQ 1st ind (C) to preceding, AFAF, 4 Feb 42. (3) Itr (C) to 36th Engs, 4 Feb 42, sub: Tng. 
(4) FF Itr (C) to 70th Tank Bn, 4 Feb 42. sub: Tng. All in 353/27 (AFAF) (C). 



90 



ORGANIZATION OF GROUND COMBAT TROOPS 



for possible operations in Africa, and on its recommendation the assault ele- 
ment of this force was to be supplied by the ist Division, now the most thor- 
oughly trained of Army divisions in amphibious combat. GHQ suggested that 
the place of the ist Division in further amphibious training be taken by the 9th, 
These recommendations were approved by the War Department/® 

Training on the Pacific Coast 

On the Pacific Coast the training operations outlined in the Pearl Plan of 
September 1941 had been executed only in part. Working on the first phase 
of the plan, the 3d Division, which had built up a large establishment of boat 
crews and amphibious equipment of its own, conducted landing exercises in 
Puget Sound and at the mouth of the Columbia River. The 2d Marine Division 
carried on similar exercises at San Diego, The second phase of the maneuvers, 
calling for a landing of both divisions in Hawaii, was not carried out because 
of the outbreak of war, which also created uncertainty concerning the employ- 
ment of the Second Joint Training Force, 

As a means of clarifying the training program of the 3d Division, GHQ 
proposed on 16 January 1942 the designation of Seattle or San Francisco, rather 
than Galveston, as the embarkation point for forces which might be required 
to operate in defense of the Panama Canal." In response to this suggestion 
G— 4 of the War Department General Staff recommended that the entire Pearl 
Plan be cancelled in view of the difficulties in supply and the changes in the 
over-all strategic situation caused by the war, WPD ruled that before action 
was taken G-4 must consult GHQ.^® 

An Army Amphibious Training Center Projected 

By February 1942 GHQ had come to believe that the whole amphibious 
training program should be reconsidered. In GHQ's reply to G-4 General 
Clark, Deputy Chief of Staff for Training, agreed that the Pearl Plan should 
be cancelled. He went on to point out, however, that General Marshall wished 

" (i) ist Div Itr (S) to CO AFAF, 28 Jan 42, sub: Rpt on Jan Amph Exercise, 353/24 (AFAF) (S) 
(2) WD memo (S) WPD 4511-50 for CG FF, 8 Feb 42, sub: Amph Tng. 353/35 (AFAF) (S), (3) See 
also item [(2) of footnote i j above, 

"GHQ memo (S) for WPD, 16 Jan 42, sub: 0*scas Movement of Army Trs. 353/9 (AFPF) (S). 

"WD Disposition Form (S), G-4/33853, 9 Feb 42, with note by Gen Somervell 353/25 (AFPF) (S). 



GENERAL HEADQUARTERS, 1940-42 



91 



the development on the Pacific Coast of an amphibious force ready for combat, 
and he observed that, to the best of his knowledge, a War Department order 
of 19 December 1941, calling upon WPD and G-3 of the General Staff to 
designate units for amphibious training, had not been complied with. He 
recommended that the composition of the Amphibious Force, Atlantic Fleet, 
and of the Amphibious Force, Pacific Fleet, be restudied and that the two 
forces be "constituted on a permanent basis to provide the attack element of 
whatever task forces are, or may be, designated to conduct the first major opera- 
tion in the Atlantic or Pacific, respectively. The Army components of these 
forces should be determined, specifically designated and announced by the War 
Department. The necessary supplies of all classes for combat should be assem- 
bled, prepared for loading and held available in appropriate ports." 

Dissatisfaction with the administration and progress of amphibious training, 
already expressed by General Malony in his memorandum of 29 October 194 1, 
was not removed by the landing maneuver at Cape Henry in January 1942. In 
mid-February GHQ received a copy of the final report on this operation, sub- 
mitted by General Smith to the Commander in Chief, U. S, Atlantic Fleet. 
General Smith expressed with considerable candor a view largely divergent from 
both Army and Navy predilections. The G-5 section at GHQ, in a memoran- 
dum to WPD dated 27 February 1942, undertook to bring parts of General 
Smith's report to the "personal attention" of General Marshall. "The report," 
said this memorandum, "contains a frank criticism of Naval command, consti- 
tutes a powerful indictment of the theory and practice of Joint Action, and 
makes concrete recommendations for unity of command under the Commander 
of the Landing Force." 

Citing General Smith, G-5 then enumerated its grounds for complaint: 
the late change of locale, though justified by the submarine menace, made 
adequate preparation impossible, with the result that the "excellent plans" of 
the 1st Division miscarried; the Navy failed to provide suitable transports or 
adequate combatant vessels and aircraft; combatant vessels had not practiced 
shore bombardment in the past year; naval aircraft were untrained for cooper- 
ation with ground troops; and the Navy failed to land troops on designated 
beaches, so that the ship-to-shore movement was "from a tactical viewpoint, a 
complete failure." Results of the exercise, according to General Smith, were the 

"GHQ memo (S) for G-4 WD, 23 Feb 42, sub: Amph Forces. 353/25 (AFPF) (S). 
"For this and the following quotations see GHQ !tr (C) to WPD, 27 Feb 42, sub: Amph Force. 
353/33 (AFAF) (C). 



92 



ORGANIZATION OF GROUND COMBAT TROOPS 



discrediting of American troops in the eyes of foreign observers, and, more 
important, "the loss of confidence by the first-class combat troops in the ability 
of responsible command echelons to place them ashore in formations that will 
offer a reasonable chance of success." G-5 then repeated General Smith's recom- 
mendation that unity of command in amphibious operations be vested in the 
commander of the landing force. In conclusion G-5 stated: 

The Army is giving whole-hearted, complete and generous support to the present 
Amphibious Forces, both Adantic and Pacific. The 3d and 9th Divisions have been turned 
over to the Navy for tactical control and training. Action is in process to determine and 
provide essential non-divisional elements. . . • 

From the larger view, the establishment of an Army Amphibious Training Center 
to provide for amphibious training on the scale envisaged as essential to future operations 
is being investigated. 

This Study at GHQ, reflecting its accumulated dissatisfaction with amphib- 
ious training of Army units as conducted to date, laid the basis for plans which 
resulted, in June 1942, in the activation of an Army center for amphibious 
training. The Army Ground Forces directed this center until its dissolution 
in June 1943.^^ 

" See AGF Historical Section, The Amphibious Training Center. 



VI. The Role of GHQ in the 

Development 
of Airborne Training 



The uaining and organization of airborne troops, whether parachutists 
or glider infantry, remained on a small scale throughout the life of GHQ, Never- 
theless, during the months preceding March 1942 the foundation was being 
laid for the creation of one of the elements of the Army Ground Forces, a sep- 
arate Airborne Command. In this development of airborne forces General 
McNair exercised an important influence, and GHQ used airborne troops in 
maneuvers under its direction. 

For some years the United States Army had experimented with the technical 
possibilities of parachute and air-landing forces. The German occupation of 
western Europe in May-June 1940 made clear the tactical possibilities of such 
forces, and as a result various offices in the War Department approached the 
subject with renewed interest. On 5 August 1940 Maj. Gen. Henry H. Arnold 
urged that the projected parachute units should be assigned to the Air Corps, 
but General McNair, as one of his first acts at GHQ, insisted that parachute 
troops be included among the ground arms, since they used airplanes only for 
transport and actually fought on the ground. General McNair's recommendation 
prevailed. The Office of the Chief of Staff directed on 20 August that staff studies 
should be made of "the organization, equipment, and tactical employment of 
parachute and air-transported Infantry." ^ 



^ (i) Memo of Gen Arnold for DCofS USA, 5 Aug 40, sub: Prcht Trs. 322.04/1 (Inf). (2) Memo of Gen 
McNair for Gen Moore, 8 Aug 40, sub as above. 322.04/2 (Inf). (3) Memo OCS 21157-1 for ACofS G-3 
WD from Lt Col Orlando Ward, 20 Aug 40. G-3/43293 "Aviation,*' AGF Requirements, TL & VA Div. 



94 



ORGANIZATION OF GROUND COMBAT TROOPS 



The first American parachute unit specifically organized as such was 
authorized on i6 September 1940 for immediate activation at Fort Benning, It 
was designated the 501st Parachute Battalion and its Table of Organization called 
for 34 officers and 412 enlisted men, all to be volunteers. GHQ played no ascer- 
tainable part in this action. The activation and training of parachute units, as of 
other air-landing units, remained until the dissolution of GHQ a function of the 
General Staff and the Chief of Infantry.^ 

The Transport Shortage 
and its Effects on Organization and Training 

Development of airborne units was handicapped by the severe shortage of 
transports. Because production of aircraft was concentrated on combat aviation, 
little hope existed that this shortage would soon be overcome. At the end of June 
1941 the United States Army possessed, except for a few planes converted from 
other types, only 2 transports in Panama, i in the Philippines, a total of 49 used 
in Newfoundland and by the Office of the Chief of the Air Corps, 2 in Hawaii, 
and "12 planes set up separately for parachute troop and airborne infantry train- 
ing" in the 50th Transport Wing, the only such wing that had been activated. 
Twelve transports carried merely one company with its equipment. No more 
planes were expected for the 50th Transport Wing until February 1942. In 1941 
the need for transport planes became so great that a request was made even for 
the release of the plane used by GHQ and of the four allotted to the four army 
headquarters for the travel necessary in conducting their extensive inspections — 
a request to which General McNair could not accede.^ 

The air transport shortage naturally retarded the mobilization of new air- 
borne units. In June 1941, when the size of the Army was approaching a mil- 
lion and a half, the 501st Parachute Battalion was its only airborne unit. 
Another, the 502d, was constituted on i July 1941, and the 503d and 504th in 
the next three months. As an administrative, nontactical headquarters for the 
parachute battalions, a Provisional Parachute Group was set up in the summer 
of 1941 under command of Lt. Col. William C. Lee. Meanwhile, the German 

*WD Itr (C) AG 580 (9-9-40) M-C-M to Cofinf, CofAC, and CG Ft Benning, i6 Sep 40, sub: 
Constitution of ist Prcht Bn. AGO Records (C). 

• (i) Chart (C) attached to AAF D/F to G-3 GHQ, 5 Aug 41, sub: Transports for Prcht Trs, Original 
chart in 452.1/4 (C), (2) Memo of CofS GHQ for the ACofS G~3 WD, 20 May 41, sub: Transport Air- 
planes for Prcht Trs. 580/14. 



GENERAL HEADQUARTERS, 194(M2 



95 



conquest of Crete having demonstrated the value of airborne infantry, the first 
air-landing (as distinguished from parachute) unit of the United States Army 
was constituted in Panama in July 1941. This v^^as the 550th Infantry Airborne 
Battalion. A company of the 501st Parachute Battalion v^^as sent to reinforce it. 
In the continental United States the fiist air-landing unit v^^as the 88th Infantry 
Airborne Battalion, constituted on 10 September 1941/ 

Not only mobilization but also training suffered from the shortage of 
transports. Only by special arrangement v^^as the 501st Parachute Battalion able 
to participate in two of the eighteen air-ground tests conducted at Fort Ben- 
ning, where some of the personnel of the 4th Motorized Division, who had 
practiced loading and unloading transports the year before, acted as air infan- 
try. Useful lessons could be drawn from the tests, but it was felt that more 
thorough exploration of airborne operations was needed before plans for a full- 
scale development of airborne training could be made. When the commanding 
general of the VII Corps asked on 6 June 194 1 for one company of parachutists, 
he was unable to obtain it for want of the twelve planes required. It was ex- 
plained that all available transports were ferrying Air Corps equipment to 
airplane manufacturers.'* 

Airborne Elements in the GHQ-Directed Maneuvers, 1941 

The request of GHQ to use airborne elements in the GHQ-directed fall 
maneuvers of 1941 encountered the same difficulty. The question of transports 
for these maneuvers had been discussed since March. In August the suggestion 
of the Army Air Forces that to conserve planes a battalion be moved one com- 
pany at a time was rejected by General McNair, who replied that a battalion to 
be trained as a unit must be moved as a unit. Finally, on 3 September 1941, the 
Army Air Forces agreed to furnish thirteen transports for both the September 

* (i) WD Itr AG 580 (2-ii-4i)M(Ret) M-C to CG Ft Benning, 14 Mar 41, sub: Constitution and 
Activation of Prcht Bns. 580/9. (2) WD Itr AG 580 (6-26-41) EA-C to CGs 8th and 9th Divs, 3 Jul 41, 
sub: Procurement of Enl Pers for Provisional Prcht Gp. 580/18. (3) WD Itr (C) AG 320.2 (5-14-4 1) MR-C 
to CG Panama Canal Dept, 11 Jun 41, sub: Orgn of the 550th In£ Airborne Bn, Panama Canal Dept. 320.2/1 
(Inf Airborne) (C). (4) WD Itr AG 320.2 (8-21-41) MR-M-C to CG IV Corps Area, CofAAF, Cofinf, 
and the SG, 10 Sep 41, sub: Experimental Air-Inf Bn. 320.2/27 (Inf). 

* (i) Rpt (C) on Combined Tests to Develop Doctrine and Methods for Aviation Support of Ground 
Troops (no date given), pp. 21-23 and Appendix C, Tests 7 and 18. 353/27/35 (sep file) (C). (2) Ltr of 
Gen Smith to CofS GHQ, 6 Jun 41, sub: Proposed Field Exercise of the 501st Prcht Bn. (3) 3d ind to 
preceding, CofS GHQ to CG Second Army, 17 Jun 41. Both (2) and (3) in 353/1 (Prcht Trs). 



96 



ORGANIZATION OF GROUND COMBAT TROOPS 



and the November maneuvers and an additional tvi^enty-six transports on two 
occasions during the November maneuvers.® 

In the September maneuvers of the Second vs. Third Army the only air- 
borne unit used was one company of the 502d Parachute Battalion. Men and 
equipment were dropped from different planes — a practice recognized by all as 
bad, since men might be landed without equipment, but unavoidable until 
enough suitable transports could be employed/ In the November maneuvers 
of the First Army vs. IV Corps, transports were available in considerable num- 
bers for the first time. An airborne task force was organized under the Pro- 
visional Parachute Group. It consisted of the 502d Parachute Battalion and the 
3d Battalion of the 9th Infantry, substituting for the as yet untrained 88th 
Airborne Battalion. Three missions were performed. One ended in a confused 
swarming of parachutists and defenders on the field. One was changed to a 
demonstration for reporters and photographers. The third resulted in a tactical 
accomplishment, the surprise capture and "destruction" of an important bridge. 
The chief recommendation made to GHQ in consequence of these operations 
was that transport planes should be assembled at home stations of parachute 
troops for training and rehearsal at least two weeks prior to the action intended. 
Unfortunately planes were still not available to carry out this proposal.* 

Projects for Further Development of Airborne Troops 

Nevertheless, on the level of long-range planning, thought was turning to 
more extensive development of airborne troops. Army journals discussed the 
problem, and in an outstanding article, written at a time when the Army could 
show nothing above the battalion, Colonel Lee envisaged the formation of special 
airborne divisions. In July 1941 the Army Air Forces began to experiment with 
gliders for transportation of men and materiel In August G-3 of the War 

* (i) AAF D/F (C) to G-3 GHQ, 5 Aug 41, sub: Transport of Prcht Trs, (2) Memo (C) of CofAAF 
for CofS GHQ, 3 Sep 41, sub as above. With attached documents. Both in 452.1/4 (C). 

^ (i) Ltr (R) of CofS GHQ to CO Provisional Prcht Gp, 29 Aug 41, sub: Prcht Tr Participation in 
Sep 1941 GHQ-Directed Maneuvers in Louisiana Maneuver Area, With indorsements. 353/6 (Prcht Trs). 
(2) Memo of CofS GHQ for Coinf, 13 Oct 41, sub; Separation of Prcht Trs and Their Equipment in Flight. 
With 1st ind, 353/8 (Prcht Trs). 

* (i) Ltr of CO Provisional Prcht Gp to CofS GHQ, 4 Dec 41, sub: Participation of the Airborne Task 
F in the First Army vs IV Army Corps Maneuvers. 353/23 (Prcht Trs). (2) Par 12 e, ltr of Gen McNair to 
CO IV Army Corps, 7 Jan 42, sub: Comments on First Army vs IV Army Corps Maneuvers, Nov 16-30, 
1941.354.2/1 (IV Army Corps). 



GENERAL HEADQUARTERS, 1940-42 



97 



Department General Staff called upon the Air Forces to develop new cargo 
planes, explaining that the testing of an airborne combat team was contemplated. 
This force was to consist of an infantry battalion, an antitank company, a field 
artillery battery, and a medical detachment. Tests were conducted by the Field 
Artillery in dropping the 75-mm. pack howitzer by parachute. The complica- 
tions arising where a new military problem had to be dealt with through the 
old chiefs of branches were illustrated by the organization of a parachute battery 
in February 1942.^ The Chief of Field Artillery was ordered to organize this 
unit, which was to receive its parachute training under the Chief of Infantry, 
only after confirmatory tests had been carried out by the Chief of Infantry and 
after the necessary howitzers had been obtained from the Chief of Ordnance. 

The multiplication of airborne activities raised the question of higher eche- 
lons of command. On 11 December 1941 General Twaddle, G-3 of the War 
Department, submitted a memorandum to GHQ. He observed: 

1. When the existing parachute battalions were set up, it was beHeved that parachute 
troops would operate in small numbers, and therefore required only an administrative, not 
a tactical, superior headquarters. This had been provided in the "Provisional Parachute 
Group." 

2. Subsequent experience in Europe, and in the November maneuvers, showed that in 
the future parachute troops would be employed in larger number, and in connection with 
airborne troops, glider troops and troops on the ground. 

3. The November maneuvers showed the inability of the Provisional Parachute Group 
to operate successfully as a tactical command. 

General Twaddle therefore recommended that for the four existing parachute 
battalions, three in the United States and one in Panama, a Parachute Group 
Headquarters with staff sections and a headquarters detachment be set up. 
General McNair concurred with reservations. He preferred a definite policy of 
organizing a higher headquarters for every three battalions, and he wanted the 
higher organization to be called a regiment/'* 

' (i) Lt Col William C. Lcc, **Air Landing Divisions," Infantry Journal, April 1941. Sec also Lt Col Leo 
Donovan and Lt J. J. Glcason, **Division in Heaven: the Staff Work o£ Airborne Troops," Military Reviett/, 
June 1 94 1. (2) Ltr of CofAAF to CG AFCC, 7 Jul 41, sub: Orgn o£ Glider Units. 322.082/207, (3) WD 
memo G-3/40911 for CofAAF, 4 Aug 41, sub: Airplane Development for Carrying Airborne and Prcht 
Trs. 580/25, (4) WD ltr (C) AG 472.2 (1-8-42) MSC-C to Cofinf, CofFA, CofOrd, 18 Feb 42, sub: Prcht 
Battery, 75-mm. Pack Howitzer. 320.2/1 (Prcht Trs) (C). 

"(i) WD memo G-3/40911 for CofS GHQ and Cofinf, 11 Dec 41, sub: Comd Echelon for Prcht 
Units. 320.2/37 (Inf), (2) Memo of Gen McNair for ACofS G-3 WD, 18 Dec 41, sub as in (i) above. 
320.2/1 (Prcht Trs)(C). 



98 



ORGANIZATION OF GROUND COMBAT TROOPS 



His advice was taken in this matter. A War Department directive of 24 
February 1942 constituted four parachute regiments.^^ Each regiment wzs to 
receive, as its first component, one of the four existing parachute battalions, 
whose numerical designation passed to the regiment. The 501st Parachute Bat- 
talion, for example, became the ist Battalion of the 501st Parachute Infantry. 
No similar action was yet taken for air-landing troops, but a beginning was made 
in the organization of airborne troops in the usual echelons of the Army. With 
regiments constituted and batteries contemplated, the way was open for the 
creation in August 1942 of the first airborne divisions — the 82d and the loist.^^ 

In the last days of GHQ the airborne army existed largely on paper, but the 
basic preparations had been made for its development. Control over the 501st 
Parachute Battalion and the 550th Airborne Infantry Battalion was not inherited 
by the Army Ground Forces, since both were stationed in Panama. One of the 
first acts of the Army Ground Forces was to create, on 23 March 1942, an Air- 
borne Command." The headquarters of the old Provisional Parachute Group 
became the headquarters of the new command, and Colonel Lee the first com- 
manding officer. The Airborne Command began its work with high enthusiasm 
and many projects, but with very few actual troops. Much work remained to be 
done before American units would be able to carry out an action similar to the 
German operation against Crete. 

"WD Itr (R) AG 320.2 (1-20-42) MR-M-C to Cofinf, 24 Feb 42, sub: Constitution, Activation and 
Redcsignation of Prcht Units. AGF Records, 321/1 (Inf) (R). 

" Sec I "Reorganization of Ground Troops for Comba?] and ["Organization and Training of New| 
Ground Combat Elements," in this volume, and AGF Historical Section, The Airborne Command. 

"AGF Itr 320.2/2 (Airborne Command)-GNOPN to CO Airborne Comd, 24 Mar 42. 320.2 (A/B). 



VII . GHQ and the Development of 
Air-Support Training and Doctrine 



Responsibilities of GHQ for Air and Air-Ground Training 

In its relation to the air forces GHQ passed through two periods divided 
by June 1941, when the Army Air Forces was recognized and established as an 
autonomous force within the Army. 

In the first period GHQ was responsible in principle for the training of 
air as well as ground elements of the Army. The GHQ Air Force, somewhat 
confusingly so named since it long antedated the activation of GHQ, com- 
prised all combat aviation units in the continental United States. On 19 Novem- 
ber 1940 this force was formally put under the command of the Commanding 
General of the Field Forces and under the "direct control" of GHQ.^ General 
McNair, as Chief of Staff, GHQ, therefore was responsible for the supervision 
of its training. 

From the first the trend of events prevented this responsibility from being 
exercised, except in a very limited way. On 14 August 1940, ten days after 
General McNair assumed his new duties, a comprehensive training directive 
had been given to the Commanding General of the GHQ Air Force by the 
Chief of the Air Corps, General Arnold. General McNair took this to mean 
that the actual supervision of GHQ over air training would be limited. In a 
memorandum to his Air officer, Col. William E, Lynd, who had not yet 
reported at GHQ, he observed that General Arnold's directive appeared "to 
constitute a radical change of policy. Apparently the action was a personal one 
by the Secretary of War to the Chief of the Air Corps." At General McNair's 
request, Colonel Lynd, shortly after arriving, prepared a comprehensive report 
on the organization, training, and combat readiness of the air forces. Notwith- 
standing the War Department directive of 19 November explicitly placing the 
Commanding General of the GHQ Air Force under GHQ in the chain of 

* (i) WD Itr AG 320.2 (7-25-4o)M(Ret) M~OCS to CGs, etc, 26 Jul 40, sub: GHQ. 320.2/3/1. (2) 
V/D Itr AG 320.2 (11-14-40) M~C-M to CGs, CofS GHQ, etc, 19 Nov 40, sub: Orgn, Tng and Adm 
of the GHQ Air Force. 320.2/26 (AF Combat Comd). 



100 



ORGANIZATION OF GROUND COMBAT TROOPS 



command, General McNair felt that he was called upon to do little beyond 
keeping himself informed regarding its training program.^ 

The second period opened with the reorganization of the air forces on 
20 June 1941.^ This action regularized the increasing autonomy of the air arm. 
The Army Air Forces was constituted directly under the War Department, 
with General Arnold as both Chief of the Army Air Forces and Deputy Chief 
of Staff for Air. A separate Air Staff, with the usual staff sections, soon devel- 
oped. Within the Army Air Forces two major subdivisions were created: the 
Air Corps, charged with the control of fixed installations, individual training, 
supply functions, etc., and the Air Force Combat Command, which replaced 
the GHQ Air Force in controlling tactical aviation in the continental United 
States, These changes were recognized when GHQ was reorganized on the 
following 3 July.^ A distinction betv^^een air forces and ground forces was 
clearly drawn and GHQ was relieved of responsibility for air training. It was 
charged with the "supervision and coordination, as at present, of the training 
of all ground combat forces (except those assigned to air forces) and all com- 
bined air-ground training (except training for defense against air attack) in 
the continental United States." This division of authority remained in effect 
until the reorganization of 9 March 1942, which dissolved GHQ and estab- 
lished the Army Ground Forces and the Army Air Forces as separate and 
coordinate commands. 

GHQ and the air forces shared many problems in addition to the questions 
connected with combined air-ground training. In a general way most training 
activities of the ground forces were in some degree related to the development 
of the air forces. Ground troops on maneuvers were frequently criticized by 
General McNair for taking insufficient precautions against the air threat. The 
training of air-borne troops, though a very small-scale matter in 1940-41, directly 
involved the air forces. The establishment of defense commands, of which avi- 
ation was a principal component, created new organizational problems, which 
were finally solved in accordance with the views of General McNair, published 
in the field manual on air defense. The assignment of antiaircraft artillery within 
a defense command to the interceptor commander was gradually accepted, 

* (i) Ltr of Gen Arnold to CG GHQ Air Force, 15 Aug 40, sub: Air Corps Tng 1940-41 (Supple- 
mentary). 353/11. (2) Memo of Gen McNair for Col Lynd, 31 Aug 40, sub: Air Corps Tng, 1940-41. (3) 
Memo vC) of Col Lynd for Gen McNair, i Oct 40, sub: The GHQ AF. 322.082/1 (C). 

* AR 95-5, "Army Air Forces," 20 Jun 41. 

^WD ltr AG 320.2 (6-19-41) MC-E-M to CofS GHQ, 3 Jul 41, sub: Enlargement of the Functions 
of GHQ. 320.2/3/34. 



GENERAL HEADQUARTERS, 1940-42 



lOI 



largely because of the influence of General McNair. Most of the relations between 
GHQ and the air forces, however, centered on the problem of the "combined 
air-ground training" over which GHQ received supervision on 3 July 1941. The 
problem of preparing for direct collaboration between air and ground forces in 
battle proved to be difficult to solve, and no final settlement had been agreed 
upon when the Army Ground Forces was established in 1942. 

Basic Problems 
in Combined Air-Ground Training 

In the blitzkrieg in which the German Army swept over Belgium and 
France in May-June 1940 no element appeared more successful than the close 
support given by aviation to ground troops in combat. Other armies had lagged 
in developing this type of cooperation. The United States was unprepared for 
such warfare both in equipment and in tactical doctrine. Before large-scale air- 
support training could begin, it was necessary not only to procure equipment 
but to formulate, for the guidance both of production policies and of training 
programs, a new tactical doctrine for the close support of ground troops by 
aviation. 

On 20 August 1940 General Marshall directed his G-3, Brig. Gen. Frank M. 
Andrews, an Air Corps officer, to initiate staff studies on this subject. The matter 
was turned over jointly to the Training Branch and the Miscellaneous Branch 
of G-3. Though Lt. Col, Harold M. McClelland, an Air Corps officer in the Mis- 
cellaneous Branch, reported that his branch had already taken sufficient action, 
the Training Branch nevertheless went ahead. Lt. Col. Rufus S. Ramey of that 
branch, after consultation with GHQ, presented on 26 September 1940 a memo- 
randum for the Chief of Staff, signed by General Andrews.** 

This memorandum distinguished five kinds of aviation support for ground 
troops: 

I. Close, direct-support fire missions on the immediate front of ground 
forces. 

" (i) Memo OCS 21157-1 of Lt Col Orlando Ward for ACofS G-3 WD, 20 Aug 40. G-3/43293, 
"Aviation: Misc from Sec, prior to Jan 8, 1942." AGF Rqts, TL & VA Div. (2) Memo G-3 743293 of Ll 
Col McClelland for the Executive, 27 Aug 40, sub: Support of Grd Trs by Avn. AGF Rqts, TL 6c VA EKv. 
(3) Memo G-3/43293 of Gen Andrews for CofS USA, 26 Sep 40, sub: Avn in Support o£ Grd Trs, AGF 
Rqts, TL 6c VA Div, Most of the documents cited in footnotes 5 to 13 may also be found in AGO Records 

(9^16-40) (Avn in Support o£ Grd Trs). 



102 



ORGANIZATION OF GROUND COMBAT TROOPS 



2. Air defense of friendly ground forces and installations in the combat zone. 

3, Air attack against targets in hostile rear areas. 

4. Support of parachute troops and air infantry, 

5, Reconnaissance, liaison, and observation. 

Of these items the first and second came to constitute the substance of the air- 
support problem. The third involved less coordination between air and ground 
forces in battle and was more a strategic than a* tactical concern. The fourth has 
been described in Section VI. The fifth, aerial observation, presented relatively 
few administrative difficulties to GHQ and needs to be discussed only briefly. 

Observation Aviation 

Aerial observation, according to General Andrews* memorandum, was 
already well handled in the U. S, Army. Observation squadrons had been 
assigned in 1940 to various branches and echelons of the field forces Their 
training came directly under the authority of GHQ. They followed prescribed 
training programs in conjunction with their respective ground units, but in 
May 1941 an inspection by the GHQ Air Section showed that the mere issu- 
ance of instructions had not been sufficient to guarantee results. It was found 
that the Air officer of the Second Army had tested his observation squadrons 
very superficially. General McNair, privately referring to these tests as "class- 
room stuff," ordered further tests in the form of actual field exercises for all 
observation squadrons in the field forces. The tests were held in July and 
August 1941.^ At that time, following the reorganization of the air forces, the 
observation squadrons were transferred to new air-support commands,^ and the 
question of aerial observation then merged into the larger problem of air- 
ground cooperation. 

The Problem of Air-Support Tests, 1940^1 

In the use of combat aviation for air-support. General Andrews' memoran- 
dum of 26 September 1940 stated that the United States Army was inex- 
perienced by European standards. General Andrews recommended that joint 



*" Draft of GHQ Itr to CGs. 3 Jul 41, sub: Test of Obsn Sqs. With supporting documents. 353/59 (AAF). 
^ Sec footnote 22 below. 



GENERAL HEADQUARTERS, 1940-42 



103 



air-ground tests be held at once and that in future maneuvers whole armies, 
corps, and *'large elements" of the GHQ Air Force should be trained to act 
together. 

This recommendation brought about a struggle in the War Department 
between a group of officers favoring immediate air-support tests and a group 
who believed that the GHQ Air Force should expand its equipment, enlarge 
its personnel, and perfect its training in strictly air matters before participating 
in joint training with ground arms. The struggle was not simply between air 
and ground officers. General Andrews, an Air officer, favored immediate tests, 
as did General McNair, who had concurred in the proposals of 26 September, 
General Arnold, Chief of the Air Corps, saw more value in air-ground com- 
bined training than did Maj. Gen. Delos C, Emmons, commander of the GHQ 
Air Force. In a training directive for 1940-41, issued to the GHQ Air Force 
shortly before die Office of the Chief of Staff initiated the studies on air-ground 
relations. General Arnold had expressly said: "Every opportunity will be 
sought to engage in field exercises with other arms." The most persistent op- 
ponent of the proposed tests was General Emmons, For a time he was sup- 
ported by General Arnold, who on 25 October, in a memorandum for 0-3, 
urgently advised against immediate tests. He declared that equipment was lack- 
ing, stated that cooperative exercises with ground troops greatly delayed the 
"combat crew and unit training" of air personnel, and recommended that no 
air-support operations be introduced into large maneuvers until 1942. The 
Miscellaneous Branch of G-3 and the War Plans Division shared this point of 
view, though somewhat less positively.® 

In November 1940, however, the weight of authority turned in favor of the 
tests. General Arnold, who was Deputy Chief of Staff for Air at this time, 
accepted the proposed tests with certain safeguards. He obtained from General 
Andrews on 12 November a statement that only one squadron of combat 
aviation, probably the one stationed at Fort Benning, would be needed in the 
near future ^ and then gave instructions for the issuance of a directive ordering 

* (i) Memo of Gen McNair for ACofS G-3 WD, 24 Sep 40, sub: Avn in Support of Grd Trs. (2) Ltr 
of Gen Arnold to CG GHQ AF, 15 Aug 40, sub: Air Corps Tng 1940—41 (Supplementary). 353/11. (3) 
Memo of CofAC (over the signature of Gen Brett) for ACofS G-3 WD, 25 Oct 40, sub as above. (4) Memo 
of Chief of Misc Branch GHQ for Chief of Tng Branch GHQ, 30 Sep 40, sub as above. (5) WD memo 
WPD for G-3 WD, 5 Nov 40, sub as above. All these documents, except (2), are in G-3/43293, "Support 
of Grd Trs by Avn," AGF Rqts, TL & VA Div. 

* "Consideration of Non-Concurrences" (dated 12 Nov) appended to memo cited in | foomote j (3) 
above. G-3/43293, **Support of Grd Trs by Avn,*' AGF Rqts, TL & VA Div. 



104 ORGANIZATION OF GROUND COMBAT TROOPS 

the tests.^** He also wrote to General Emmons announcing his decision to concur 
in the G-3 proposal, and assured him that the directive, when issued, would 
contain a clause protecting the GHQ Air Force from the obligation of large- 
scale training with ground troops." On 20 November Colonel Ramey, charged 
with preparing the directive, informally notified Colonel Clark at GHQ that 
G-3 of the War Department favored naming GHQ as the coordinating agency 
for the various elements — army, corps. Armored Force, and GHQ Air Force — 
to be involved in the tests. G-3 seemed not to be thinking of small tests only/^ 

On 2 December Colonel Ramey finished his draft of the directive, which 
took the form of a War Department letter to the Chief of Staff, GHQ, ordering 
him to conduct tests and specifying their content. The draft reached the Office 
of the Chief of Staff on 4 December. It was there amended by General Arnold, 
Deputy Chief, who now appeared convinced of the value of the experiment. 
His amendments doubled the number of questions on which tests should be 
held. Three days later the amended draft, fully approved, left the Office of the 
Chief of Staffj but on 12 December Maj. Edwin B. Howard, an Air Corps officer, 
Chief of the Miscellaneous Branch of G-3, vehemently objected to General 
Arnold's extension of the scope of the tests, which, he said, the entire GHQ Air 
Force could not execute in the time allowed. Major Howard disclaimed respon- 
sibility and predicted a violent protest from General Emmons. These objections, 
however, were overruled by Colonel Twaddle, acting G-3, who observed that the 
Chief of Staff had already approved the directive, and on 13 December he 
transmitted the amended draft to The Adjutant General.^^ 

The directive issued to General McNair on 17 December 1940 laid the basis 
for tests which lasted well into the following summer. The results of these tests 
were eventually incorporated in Basic Field Manual 31-35, Aviation in Support 
of Ground Forces, published on 9 April 1942.^* 

"D/S DCS 21157-1-A to ACofS G-3 WD, 15 Nov 40, for necessary action. AGO Records, 353 
(9-16-40) (Avn in Support of Grd Trs). 

"Personal Itr of Gen Arnold to Gen Emmons, 14 Nov 40. G— 3/43293, "Support of Grd Trs by Avn," 
AGF Rqts, TL fit V A Div. 

"Informal memo of Lt Col Ramey GHQ for Lt Col Clark GHQ, 20 Nov 40, sub: Proposed Combined 
Tng Tests. 0-3/43^93* * 'Aviation: Misc from Sec, prior to Jan 8, 1941," AGF Rqts, TL & VA Div. 

" (i) Memo of Col Twaddle for TAG, 2 X)ec 40, sub; Combined Tests to Develop Doctrine and 
Methods for Aviation Support of Grd Trs. (2) Memo of Maj Howard for the ACofS G-3 WD, 12 Dec 40, 
sub as above, with pencilled notations of Col Twaddle. For both see G-3 743 293, "Support of Grd Trs by 
Avn," AGF Rqts, TL & VA Div. 

"WD Itr (C) AG 353 (9-26-40) M-C to CofS GHQ, 17 Dec 40, sub: Combined Tests to Develop 
Doctrine and Methods for Avn in Support of Grd Trs. 353/27/1 (C), 



GENERAL HEADQUARTERS, 1940-42 



105 



Within ten days of receiving the directive General McNair had assembled 
comments on it from his staff sections, transmitted it to the Third Army v/ith 
instructions for its execution, requested the Chief of Infantry to furnish a 
battalion of parachute troops, and asked the Chief of the Armored Force and 
the Commanding General of the GHQ Air Force to state v/hzt forces they could 
make available/^ Then began a period of difficulty and delay. General McNair 
himself, despite his prompt action, was not yet convinced that the tests should 
be hurried. He had been told that the air forces v/cic not prepared, and his 
principle that fundamental training should take priority over training in special- 
ized operations seemed to run contrary to the scope of the proposed tests. He 
therefore w^rote to General Marshall on 16 January 1941 mildly criticizing "the 
present test at Fort Benning of air-ground cooperation, as being premature." 

In January 1941 new difficulties developed regarding the size of the tests. 
The War Department directive, following General Arnold's assurances to Gen- 
eral Emmons, stipulated that aviation used in the tests should "be restricted to 
the bombardment squadron now stationed at Fort Benning, Georgia, and such 
additional units of other type aircraft as the Commanding General, General 
Headquarters Air Force, may make available without undue interference with 
the unit training and expansion program of the Air Corps." In order to use 
ground troops in the neighborhood of Fort Benning the Third Army assigned 
the tests to the IV Army Corps. Maj. Gen. Jay L. Benedict, Commanding General 
of the IV Corps, soon found that the number of planes in the squadron at Fort 
Benning was too small to permit worth-while tests, 

To iron out this difficulty a special conference was called at the War Depart- 
ment on 17 January 1941. Two changes in the program, somewhat in the nature 
of a trade, were approved. First, General Arnold stated that by early April a 
whole group of light bombardment planes might become available. Second, it 
was agreed that responsibility for matters primarily of aviation technique should 
be transferred from the Third Army to the GHQ Air Force. The date for com- 
pletion of the tests was deferred to i August 1941 " 

" (i) Rpts (C) of staff sec, 20-23 Dec 40 and GHQ isi ind to CG Third Army, 26 Dec 40, on WD 
Itr AG 353 (9-26-40) M-C, sub as in footnote 14. 353/27/2 (C). (2) GHQ Itrs (C) to Cofinf and CG 
GHQ AF, 26 Dec 40, sub as in footnote 14, 353/^7/7 and /8, 

"Memo of Gen McNair for Gen Marshall, i6 Jan 41, sub: Specialized Tng. 353/136. 

" (i) Memo of Chief of Tng Branch WD for ACofS G-3 WD, 17 Jan 41, sub: Tests in Determining 
Methods and Doccrincs for Avn in Support of Grd Trs. G-3/43293, "Support of Grd Trs by Avn," AGF Rqts, 
TL & VA Div. (2) WD Itr AG 353 (1-17-41) M-C to CofS GHQ, 22 Jan 41, sub: Combined Tests. AGO 
Records. 



io6 



ORGANIZATION OF GROUND COMBAT TROOPS 



Execution of Air-Support Tests, February-June ig^i 

The tests began on ii February and lasted until 17 }une,^® Eighteen tests 
were held, becoming increasingly large as additional units of aviation were made 
available. Command channels v^^ere complex. The GHQ Air Force delegated its 
responsibilities to the Southeast Air District — renamed the Third Air Force v^^hile 
the tests vi^ere in progress — v/hich in turn delegated them to the 17th Bombard- 
ment Wing. Under the 17th Wing vi^as the 3d Light Bombardment Group and 
the 15th Light Bombardment Squadron, w^hich w^ith certain observation and 
pursuit units performed the exercises prescribed. The ground troops employed 
w^ere the 4th Motorized Division, the 2d Armored Division, and the 501st Para- 
chute Battalion, together with small units of other arms, all attached to the IV 
Corps, v^^hich itself vi^as responsible to the Third Army and GHQ. Command 
over the tests was not wholly unified, since General Benedict of the IV Corps 
and Brig, Gen. Lewis H, Brereton of the 17th Wing occupied in some respects 
coordinate positions. Some misunderstanding resulted,^^ but the tests were never- 
theless found by Colonel Lynd, the GHQ Air officer and observer, to be well 
managed.^ 

Aviation worked alternately with the 4th Motorized and 2d Armored Divi- 
sion in various tactical combinations involving both support and attack of ground 
troops. No live bombs were dropped. The Army possessed no dive bombers, and 
plans to employ Navy dive bombers failed to materialize. A severe shortage of 
radio equipment limited communications, and lack of air transport made it 
impossible to experiment profitably with airborne troops. All units participated 
at less than authorized strength. 

Despite the difficulties a long list of matters was investigated during these 
months: 

I. The minimum distance from friendly troops at which aviation might 
safely bomb. 

"This and the following two paragraphs arc based largely on Gen Benedict's "Report of Combined 
Exercises to Develop Doctrine and Methods for Aviation Support of Ground Troops" (C). 353/27/35 
(separate file) (C). Gen Brere ton's report is attached to Gen Benedict's account as an append ix< 

" (i) Personal Itrs (C) of Gen Benedict to Gen McNair, 10 and 16 Apr 41. 353/27/3^ (C). (2) Memo 
of Chief of Misc Branch WD for ACofS G-3 WD, 5 May 41, sub: A vn Support of Grd Trs, G-3/43293, 
"Support of Grd Trs by Avn," AGF Rqts, TL & VA Div. 

^ (i) Memo (C) of Col Lynd for CofS GHQ, 11 Apr 41, sub: Air-ground Tests to Determine Tactics, 
Doctrine and Technique. 353/27/36 (C). (2) Ibid., 7 May 41, sub; Air-Ground Tests. 353/27/36 (C). 
(3) Ibid., 7 May 41, sub: Additional Notes on Visit to IV Army Corps, 6 May. 333.1/7 (Ft Benning). 



GENERAL HEADQUARTERS, 1940-42 



2. The minimum altitude at which support aviation might safely operate. 

3. Methods of communication between ground and air. 

4. Methods of notifying friendly groimd troops when supporting air action 
is terminated. 

5. Methods by which ground commanders might call for air support and 
designate targets for bombardment. 

6. Methods by which fliers might distinguish friend from foe on the ground, 
and ground troops might distinguish between friendly and hostile aircraft. 

7. Methods to secure timing of air attack in coordination with groimd 
action. 

8. Proper kinds of targets (near or distant, stationary or moving, transitory 
or permanent) for aviation in close support of bombardment. 

9. The lapse of time between request for support and delivery of bombard- 
ment. 

10. Methods for control of aircraft, whether by attachment to groimd 
troops or otherwise. 

On these and other matters General Benedict on 19 July made a thor- 
ough report, concurred in by General Brereton, who also forwarded a report for 
the 17th Bombardment Wing. Colonel Lynd found both reports excellent.^^ 
At the same time a draft for a training circular on air support was forwarded by 
General Benedict. 

The Air-Support Commands and the 1941 Maneuvers 

These reports were eagerly seized upon by both GHQ and the Army Air 
Forces. The Air Forces, recently constituted as an autonomous body, was engaged 
in reorganizing air-ground relations. A directive of 25 July 1941 created an Air 
Support Section in the staff of the Air Force Command, providing, however, that 
for liaison purposes this section should be located initially at GHQ.^^ Colonel 
Lynd became chief of the section. The same directive created five air-support 
commands to include observation and light bombardment planes formerly 
allotted to ground units. One air-support command was to be included in each 
of the four armies. The fifth air-support command was reserved for the Armored 

**Memo (C) of Col Lynd for CofS GHQ, 4 Aug 41, sub: Comments on IV Army Corps and 17th 
Wing Rpts on Air-Ground Tests. 353/27/39 (C). The basic reports arc in 353/^7/35 (C) (separate file). 

"■WD Itr AG 320.2 (7-17-41) MR-M-AAF to CofAAF, 25 Jul 41, sub: Air Support Avn. With 
attached chart. AGO Records. 



I08 ORGANIZATION OF-GROUND COMBAT TROOPS 

Force. To determine the functions of the new commands an Air Support Board 
met on 28 July." It considered the reports of the IV Corps and the 17th Wing 
and recommended material for inclusion in the forthcoming training circular. 

General McNair had long urged speedy completion of reports on the air- 
support tests held in the spring of 1941, since conclusions were needed in time to 
formulate instructions for the fall maneuvers. While recently relieved of his 
supervisory authority over air training. General McNair was still officially respon- 
sible for supervision and coordination of combined air-ground training.^* He 
hid feared that instructions for air-ground action in the coming maneuvers 
might be delayed by the "upheaval" going on in the Air Forces. The placing of 
all support aviation in air-support commands, he wrote, "is one more step in 
the separation of the air from the rest of the Army. What may be the result is 
hard to predict, but it seems quite unlikely that it will facilitate the interworking 
of air and ground." He was not satisfied with the results shown in General Bene- 
dict's report, which he praised as accurate and thorough. "Frankly," he wrote to 
General Benedict on 26 July, "I am disappointed in the capabilities of air support 
as indicated by your tests. It seems that aviation may intervene once in a battle — 
possibly at the time and place needed, possibly not* It requires a great stretch of 
the imagination to visualize such action as even remotely decisive, if indeed it is 
felt at all by the ground troops. I hope that the maneuvers may develop something 
more impressive in the way of speed and ferocity of air action." 

It was clear by July 1941 that the fall maneuvers would involve large-scale 
air-support operations, such as General Andrews had envisaged and General 
Emmons had objected to almost a year before. Though General Emmons/^ 
now Commander of the Air Force Combat Command, had not changed his 
opinion, General Arnold ordered eight groups to take part in both the Louisiana 
and the Carolina maneuvers." The Navy agreed to supply dive bombers.^® 

*• See |footnote~2r!| ** SeejfootnotcT] 

"Personal Itrs (C) of Gen McNair to Gen Benedict, 5 and 26 Jul 41. 353/-27/3I and /37 (C). 

" (i) Ltr of CofS GHQ to CO GHQ AF, 24 Mar 41, sub; Corps and Army Tng. 353/6 (AF Combat 
Comd). (2) GHQ AF ist ind to GHQ on preceding, 3 Apr 41. 353/6 (AF Combat Connd). (3) Memo 
(C) of CG AFCC for CofAAF, 24 Jun 41. sub not given. 353/1 (AFCC) (C). (4) GHQ AF 2d ind to 
GHQ, 29 May 41, on ltr of CG First Army to GHQ, 15 May 41, sub: Corps and Army Tng. 353/55/7 (First 
Army). (5) GHQ AF Tst ind to GHQ, 12 Jun 41, on ltr of Gen McNair to CG GHQ AF, 5 Jun 41, sub: Air 
Participation in Corps and Army Tng. 353/12 (AF Combat Comd). 

" (i) Ltr of Gen Arnold to CofS USA, 19 Jun 41, sub: Air Corps Participation in Army Maneuvers, 
Sep through Nov. 353/54 (AAF). (2) WD ltr AG 353 (7-3-41) MO-C to CofS GHQ, 16 Jul 41, sub: 
Increased Participation of Air Force Units in 1941 Maneuvers. 353/28 (AF Combat Comd). 

"Ltr (C) OP-38-E-KB 7-i6 (SC) A4-3/QA Confidential Serial 048838, Doc 32098 of Chief of Naval 
Opns to CofS GHQ, 17 Jul 41, sub: Dive Bomber Participation in Army Mnvrs. 353/1 (Dive Bombing) (C). 



GENERAL HEADQUARTERS, 194(M2 



The eight-group program called for speedy preparations. Furdier air- 
ground tests were scheduled for Fort Knox in August.^ Starting at the end 
of July Colonel Lynd, as well as General McNair and General Clark, worked 
on the Air Corps draft of an Aviation Supplement to the GHQ Umpire Man- 
ual. Much reduced in bulk by its passage through GHQ, with sentences short- 
ened and expression clarified and with the number of air umpires cut about 
30 percent, the Aviation Supplement was published on 21 August/" Mean- 
while, Colonel Lynd substantially modified the draft training circular sub- 
mitted by General Benedict, taking account of the findings of the Air Support 
Board. The War Department published Colonel Lynd's draft, with a number 
of changes, as Training Circular No. 52, 29 August 1941, entitled "Employment 
of Aviation in Close Support of Ground Troops." 

To improve the doctrine set forth in this training circular and to obtain 
guidance for the preparation of a field manual, General McNair on 8 Septem- 
ber requested the principal field commanders to submit reports on air support 
in the light of the coming maneuvers. On 15 September GHQ was formally 
instructed by the War Department to prepare a field manual.^^ The stage was 
set for a thorough test of air-ground cooperation. 

Aviation in the 1941 Maneuvers 

The September maneuvers gave the most spectacular exhibition of air 
power ever seen in the United States. The eight Army Air Force groups took 
part as well as seven squadrons of Navy and Marine aviation. Even so, in pro- 

" (i) Memo (C) of CofS GHQ for ACofS G-3 WD» 13 Aug 41, sub: Attack Airplanes for the Armd 
F. 452.1/3 (Airplanes) (C). (2) Memo No 4 of Air-Grd Tng and Test Bd, Ft Knox, Ky, 31 Aug 41, sub: 
Air Support (Bombardment). A tentative guide to Opns. 353/33 (AF Combat Comd). 

^"Aviation Supplement to Umpire Manual, GHQ, U. S. Army» Aug 21, 1941, Restricted," With sup- 
porting documents. 353/19 (Tng Dirs). 

" (i) Memo (C) of Gen Clark, G-3 GHQ for Gen McNair, 9 Aug 41, sub: Tentative Guide for the 
Employment of Bombardment in Close and Direct Support of Grd Forces. With supporting documents. 
353/^7/38 (C). (3) A Copy of Col Lynd's draft, "Tentative Guide . . with supporting documents, 
is in G-3/43293, "Support of Grd Trs by Avn " AGF Rqts, TL & VA Div. (3) "Tow Benedict and Brcre- 
ton . . . in June submitted a draft of this Training Circular. It was gone over by this Headquarters and 
submitted to the War Department with little or no change. It emerged in quite a different form. . , .** 
One change was to increase the authority of the air support commander (par 4 c (4) (^)). Ltr of Maj Gen 
R. C. Richardson to Gen McNair, 9 Sep 41, and Gen McNair*s reply, 11 Sep 41, McNair Correspondence. 

" (i) Ltr of Gen McNair to CGs, etc, 8 Sep 41, sub: Rpts on Employment of Aviation in Close Support 
of Grd Trs. 353/16 (Air-Grd), (2) WD ltr AG 062.11 FM (9-9-41) PC-C to CofS GHQ, 15 Sep 41, sub: 
Combined Tests to Develop Doctrine and Methods for Avn Support of Grd Forces. 461/179. 



no 



ORGANIZATION OF GROUND COMBAT TROOPS 



portion to the 350,000 troops engaged, air strength was below the normal 
requirements of modern war. 

In his comments General McNair confined himself to brief statements. 
He noted in his critique that the troops failed to respond adequately to the air 
threat. He pointed out that columns of men and vehicles in close order on the 
roads would suffer disastrously from real air attack and diat for observation 
planes to fly for two hours at low altitudes over enemy territory was highly 
unrealistic. General Arnold also noted these weaknesses and others as well: 
poor use of radio; excessive dependence on telephones; scattering of bombers 
on small missions; ignoring by aircraft of danger from antiaircraft artillery; 
and undue length of communication channels between the ground command- 
er's request for support and its delivery by the air unit. General Arnold found 
the air-support command organization Vindicated in principle by the maneu- 
vers, but requiring development in detail."^ 

In the Carolina maneuvers in November the First Army was pitted against 
the IV Army Corps, most of whose elements had participated in the air-support 
tests earlier in the year. The eight groups of Army aviation were again engaged 
and, theoretically, dropped fourteen thousand bombs.^* Parachute troops also 
were employed. 

General McNair still thought the ground troops careless in the face of the 
air threat. He found bombardment aviation used aggressively and effectively 
by the IV Corps commander, pursuit planes employed normally but too often 
wasted on attacks against ground objectives, observation planes still too much 
inclined to long leisurely flights over enemy positions, and the capabilities of 
aerial photography neglected. A report by an A-2 Air Staff observer dealt 
chiefly with matters of special interest to the Air Forces.®" 

Disagreements over Air-Ground Command Relations 

After the September maneuvers attention again turned to the precise means 
by which air and ground units should be administratively related. 

(i) Ltr of Gen McNair to CG Second Army, ii Oct 41, sub; Comments on Second vs Third Army 
Maneuvers, 15-30 Sep 41. 353/466 (Second Army). (2) Ltr of Gen McNair to CG Third Army, 10 Oct 41. 
353/595 (Third Army). (3) Memo of Gen Arnold for CofS USA, 8 Oct 41, sub: Army Maneuvers. 354.2/1 
(Rpts 1941). 

'^Memo of Col Lynd for CofS GHQ, 18 Dec 41, sub: Bombs Dropped during Carolina Maneuvers. 
354.2/27 (First Army). 

"(i) GHQ ltr to CG First Army, 22 Dec 41, sub: Comments on First Army vs IV Army Corps 



GENERAL HEADQUARTERS, 1940-42 



HI 



The Chief of Field Artillery, not content with the new air-support com- 
mands, recommended on 8 October that at least seven observation planes be 
organically included in the artillery component of each division and corps. 
GHQ concurred with G-3 of the War Department in disapproving this pro- 
posal.^^ "I favor exhausting the possibilities of the new air-support organization," 
wrote General McNair on 21 October 1941, "since it gives promise of effecting 
a great improvement. There is grave question in my mind whether it is feasible 
or desirable that a ground arm attempt to operate aviation. The ground arms can 
and must learn to cooperate with aviadon, and the process may as well begin 
with observation." These words mark a change, perhaps brought about by the 
maneuvers, from his distrust of the air-support commands at the time when they 
were created. He now believed that observation planes could survive only where 
general air superiority was maintained and that they would be wastefully used 
if decentralized in division commands. The recommendation of the Chief of 
Field Artillery had no immediate effect in this connection. A War Department 
order of 27 October prescribed that observation units of air-support commands 
should be attached to ground units as required, in peacetime by agreement 
between GHQ and the Air Force Combat Command — with the War Depart- 
ment as arbiter when agreement was impossible — and in wartime by decision 
of the theater commander .^^ 

The Armored Force also expressed dissatisfaction with air-ground command 
arrangements. The commanding general of the I Armored Corps wrote on 20 
October that, when a ground commander did not control his supporting air 
unit, he could not be certain what support he could draw on and therefore often 
gave less prominence to aviation in his plans than it deserved. General Devers, 
Chief of the Armored Force, accordingly recommended to GHQ that the 5th 
Air Support Command be attached to "participating elements" of the Armored 
Force in future maneuvers.^ 

Maneuvers, Nov 16-30, 1941. 354.2/26 (First Army). (2) GHQ lir to CG IV Army Corps, 7 Jan 42, sub 
as above. 354.2/1 (IV Army Corps). (3) Memo o£ Capi Noland on Carolina Maneuvers, 12 Dec 41. 353/165 
(AAF). 

"Memo (C) G-3/42989 of Col Chambers for CofS USA, a8 Oct 41, sub: Air Obsn. With supporting 
documents. 322.082/5 (Air Corps) (C). 

" (i) GHQ memo of Gen McNair for CofS USA» 21 Ck:t 41, sub: Rpc by CofFA. 354.2/2 (Rpts 1941). 
(2) WD Itr 320.2 (10-14-41) MO-AAF-M to CGs, CofS GHQ, etc, 27 Oct 41, sub: Control of Obstn Units. 
i20.2/i68 (AAF). 

"GHQ 2d and 3d inds on GHQ Itr to CofAF, 30 Sep 41, sub: Rpts on Employment of Avn in Close 
Spt of Grd Trs. 353/i6 (Air-Grd). 



112 



ORGANIZATION OF GROUND COMBAT TROOPS 



When the air-support commands were created in the preceding July, the 
5th Air Support Command had been specifically designed for attachment to 
the Armored Force, and each of the other four for attachment to one of the 
armies. For the duration of such attachment the army or Armored Force com- 
mander had authority over his air-support command. The present difficulty 
involved relations with the subordinate echelons: corps, division, or combat 
team under the army or Armored Force; observation, bomber, or pursuit units 
under the air-support command. These forward units of air and ground forces, 
which did the actual fighting, stood in a cooperative relation to each other. 
They were links in separate chains of command which converged only at the 
top. In the daily and hourly realities of warfare command was divided. The 
ground commander of a corps or lesser unit could request, but could not order, 
the corresponding air support officer to give support. The Air Forces insisted 
on maintaining these arrangements. General Emmons wrote: "Coordination is 
primarily the responsibility of the commander of the troops suported. To his 
reasonable needs and requests the air commander will conform." 

War Department G-2 had received reports from the Middle East which 
showed that the Royal Air Force had conspicuously failed to support ground 
troops. The British had been disastrously defeated by Rommel in the spring of 
194 1, and one cause of their weakness was held to be the separation, both in 
training and in combat, between the Royal Air Force and the Army. This 
separation was reported to have been bridged over only by the presence in the 
theater of a personal envoy of the Prime Minister, Sir Oliver Lyttleton, Minister 
of State. Partly in view of these reports, Colonel Kingman, Armored Force officer 
at GHQ, favored General Devers' recommendation for the attachment of air 
support to subordinate ground units. He stated that the question involved was 
the unity of command in a task force and that General Devers' proposal followed 
the German system, which had repeatedly proved successful and which gave 
control over aviation to subordinate field commanders within an army or 
theater,*** General McNair, however, took no action on Colonel Kingman's 
recommendation. 

" (i) WD Itr AG 320.2 (8-21-41) PC-C to CGs, CoES GHQ, CofAAF, etc, 7 Oct 41, sub: Type Orgn 
of Air Forces in a Theater of Opns. With attached chart. 320,2/158 (AAF). (2) AFCC Itr ACC 353 
{10— 31-41) Combined Tng to CofS GHQ, 15 Nov 41, sub: Rpt of Employment of Avn in Close Spt of 
Grd Forces. 353/18 (Air-Grd). 

"Memo of Gen Clark for Gen McNair, 4 Nov 41, sub: Employment of 5th Air Spi Comd with Armd 
F Elements. With supporting documents. 353/9 (Air-Grd). 



GENERAL HEADQUARTERS, 1940-42 



The principles of centralization and decentralization of air support strength 
were in conflict. Centralization would require the attachment of air forces to 
the highest Army commands, allotting these forces only temporarily to lower 
units as occasion required. This method preserved the fluidity and rjaobility of 
support aviation and made possible the assembling of mass striking power 
against the most important objectives. This was the principle urged by General 
McNair for the organization of tank destroyer units. Decentralization, through 
attachment of air support to lower commands, would speed up the local delivery 
of support. The bad feature of decentralization was that it immobilized air 
strength in places where it might not be needed or frittered it away on local and 
insignificant missions. The bad feature of centralization was that it set up long 
command and liaison channels and slowed down the process of getting air 
assistance to ground troops. 

FM 31-35, Aviation in Support of Ground Forces 

This issue, along with other air-ground problems, was covered in the man- 
ual, FM 31-35, Aviation in Support of Ground Forces, which was published by 
the War Department on 9 April 1942. From November 1941 to January 1942 
GHQ had received the reports on air-ground operations in the fall maneuvers 
requested by General McNair on 8 September. Colonel Lynd and other officers, 
working with these reports, had produced a draft field manual, which was sub- 
mitted by GHQ to the War Department on 31 January 1942.*^ Except for a few 
minor changes in wording, and with no changes in the attached organization 
charts, this draft was accepted by the War Department. 

On air-ground command relations the doctrine was flexible. "An Air Sup- 
port Command," the mantial stated, "is habitually attached to or supports an 
army in the theater." Normally the air-support commander was to function 
under the army, theater, or task force commander. He would allocate, and in ex- 
ceptional cases might attach, aviation units to subordinate ground units, but it was 
emphasized that the air-support commander was to control all participating 

" (i) First Army Itx to CG FF, 8 Jan 42, sub: Rpts on Employment of Avn in Close Spt of Grd Trs. 
353/26 (Air-Grd). (2) Second Army Itr to CG FF, 23 Dec 41, sub as above. 353/23 (Air-Grd). (3) Third 
Army Itr to CG FF, 17 Nov 41, sub as above. 353/19 (Air-Grd), (4) Rad, Devers to CG FF, 6 Jan 42. 
Synopsis on listing sheet. 353/25 (Air-Grd). (5) AFCC Itr AGO 353 Combined Tng (Gen) to CG FF, 9 Jan 
42, sub as above. 353/27 (Air-Grd). (6) Ltr of CG FF to TAG, 31 Jan 42, sub as above. Incl draft of 
Field Manual. 461/179, 



114 



ORGANIZATION OF GROUND COMBAT TROOPS 



aviation. In general, the principle adopted was that of centralization.*^ 

Various means were prescribed for achieving the advantages of decentraliza- 
tion. Air observation units would normally be allocated so as to permit corps 
and division commanders to plan their use and to call on them directly for 
missions. They were allotted on the basis of current Tables of Organization. 
Combat aviation, the manual stated, might be attached to subordinate ground 
units in rare and exceptional cases, when effective control of such units could 
not be retained by the air-support command. Normally, combat air support 
would be arranged at subordinate levels between air and ground officers by 
liaison methods. Each corps headquarters, and on occasion division headquarters, 
was to include an "air-support control," a group of officers in direct communica- 
tion both with airdromes and with the air-support command. Lower head- 
quarters, down to any level required by the tactical situation, might include an 
"air-support party," defined as "a highly mobile group composed of one or 
more air-support officers ... to transmit air-support requests to air-support 
control." Within an army corps air-support parties would rarely be detailed to 
a unit headquarters below that of an infantry division. On the other hand, in 
armored forces and cavalry divisions they would frequently be detailed to head- 
quarters below the divisional level to meet the requirements of rapid movement. 
They could transmit only requests approved by the ground unit commander 
and only to an air-support control. 

The manual emphasized that aviation called for by ground commanders 
and obtained through air-support controls was not subordinate to the supported 
commander, but remained under the control of the air-support command. It 
was hoped that decentralization of liaison and communications would provide 
promptness and accuracy in the delivery of air support, in spite of this rigid 
centralization of air command. Provision for unified command was made only 
in the loose statement that the air-support commander "normally functions 
under the army, theater, or task force commander." 

In other words, the manual did not decide the basic problem of centralization 
or decentralization. The advocates of both principles had strong arguments to 
support their views, but a final and realistic decision could be reached only on 
the basis of active combat experience of American forces. This opportunity was 
not offered until the Battle of Tunisia in the spring of 1943, when the Army 
Ground Forces, successor to GHQ, had to apply the lessons learned. 

"For this and the two following paragraphs sec particularly pars 2, 4 to 7, 52, and 109, and Figs i 
and 2 of FM 31-35, 1942. 



VIII. GHQ and 

the Defense Commands 
in the Continental United States 



In addition to all of its other functions, GHQ became involved in defense 
planning for the continental United States. Though this activity never became 
as urgent as its responsibility for certain overseas bases and never as influential 
as the control it exercised over training, the ideas of GHQ on the military or- 
ganization of the country's defenses were a definite factor in the plans devel- 
oped up to March 1942. The recommendations of GHQ regarding defense 
planning v^^ere governed by General McNair*s fundamental belief in unity of 
command. The problems raised in applying this principle to the organization 
of defense commands in the continental United States brought to light the basic 
difficulties in carrying out the plans for GHQ as conceived by the Harbord 
Board twenty years before. The vast difference between the strategic situation 
of 1918 and that of 1941 was among the major causes leading to the dissolution 
of GHQ. This development was hastened by overlapping of planning and 
command responsibilities, the inability of the War Department to delegate full 
authority to GHQ, and the unsettled relationship between GHQ and the Air 
Corps in the organization for the defense of the United States established in 
March 1941, 



The Role of GHQ in Planning the Defense of the United States 

Before 3 July 194 1, while still exclusively a training headquarters, GHQ 
had already made its influence felt in military planning. It participated in the 
separation of the field forces from the corps areas, a measure which made pos- 
sible the creation, apart from fixed administrative establishments, of large mo- 
bile armies for tactical employment in the field. These field forces were ex- 
pected to become capable of offensive warfare. The War Department's over-all 



ii6 



ORGANIZATION OF GROUND COMBAT TROOPS 



strategic plan prescribed^ as the primary task of the United States Army, the 
building of "large land and air forces for major offensive operations," ^ 

But in 1940 and 1941 offensive w^arfare, how^ever desirable, seemed on sober 
calculation of means a possibility only for the future. During most of this 
period, it was by no means certain that Great Britain could stand up under the 
hammer strokes of the Luftw^affe w^hich were pulverizing her cities, A War 
Department G— 2 conference in May 1941, attended by the G-2 of GHQ, at- 
tempted to estimate the military power which the United States could exert 
if the British should be defeated and came to the following conclusions: ^ 

May-November 194 1: An unbalanced force without combat aviation could be 

put into the field in any area not within a thousand 
miles from the west coast of Europe or Africa. 

November 1941-April 1942: A small force with combat aviation could be used. 

April-November 1942: Balanced forces would be available up to the limit of 

ship tonnage. 

After November 1942; Shipping, equipment, and training would permit an 

expeditionary force of 430,000 to be put into action. 

In these circumstances, the War Department had to consider above all the 
immediate defense of the continental United States. GHQ had no responsibility 
in the matter before 3 July 1941, but after that date it was responsible for the 
planning and after Pearl Harbor for the execution of measures to resist attack. 
Even before 3 July 194 1, the advice of General McNair was sought and fre- 
quently accepted. Since attack was unlikely except by air, Air officers played a 
leading part in defense planning. Indeed, they tended to feel that the problem 
was exclusively theirs and to attach slight importance to collaboration with 
ground troops in the repelling of invasion. Nevertheless, plans for the air forces 
and plans for the defense of the United States became inextricably interwoven. 



The Principle of Territorial Command Unity and the Air Problem 

An Air Defense Command had existed since 26 February 1940, with head- 
quarters at Mitchel Field, New York, under command of Maj. Gen. James E, 

^ Rainbow 5, par 15, sec IV. OPD Records (S). 

^Mcrno (S), G-2 GHQ for CofS GHQ» 28 May 41, sub: Conference; Office Chief of WPD WD; 27 
May 41.3S1/13 <S). 



GENERAL HEADQUARTERS, 194(M2 



117 



Chancy.^ It was a planning body, with authority to organize combined air- 
ground operations, but it had no territorial responsibility and no control over 
either aircraft or antiaircraft artillery except as they might be attached to it by 
the War Department. General Chaney repeatedly urged the organization of 
definite defense measures for the vital northeastern area of the United States. 

In the discussions which came to a head late in 1940 General McNair was 
consulted. He favored the division of the continental United States into four 
regional defense commands. He wished to keep these distinct from the four 
field armies, which as mobile units might by moving away leave a region unpro- 
tected, and from the nine corps areas, which as fixed administrative organiza- 
tions were not suited for combat. In each defense command, in his view, there 
should be unity of command over all elements of defense: pursuit aviation, anti- 
aircraft artillery, mobile ground troops, harbor defenses, and the aircraft warning 
service. The area under a defense command, if invaded, would become a theater 
of operations, and the defense commander would become a theater commander 
with unified control over all military means in his theater/ 

Fear that unity of command within a given area subject to attack might be 
lost caused General McNair to disapprove of certain features of the reorganiza- 
tion of the Air Corps effected at this time. The Air Corps, in order to create an 
intermediate echelon between its seventeen wings and the headquarters of the 
GHQ Air Force, divided the United States into four air districts. General Mc- 
Nair, dubious at first, was brought to accept these territorial air districts for 
purposes of training and administration. The Air Corps, supported by G-3 of the 
War Department General Staff, then proposed the creation of a bombing com- 
mand and an air defense command within each air district, the former to conduct 
offensive operations, the latter defensive operations, "within the theater of the 
Air District." " General McNair concurred in the formation of these commands 
for the training and organization of mobile air units, but he demurred at the 
identification of air districts with theaters of operations. He maintained that, in 
the event of actual operations, the business of the air district was not itself to fight, 
but to supply appropriate bomber and pursuit aviation to the theater commander, 

'WD Itr AG 320.2 Air Corps (2-8-40) M(Ret) M-C to CGs, etc, 26 Feb 40, sub: Creation of -Air 
Defense Comd, AGO Records. 

* (i) Draft memos of Gen McNair for Gcr Marshall, 21 Oct and — Nov 40. 320.2/78. (2) Memo of Gen 
McNair for Gen Bryden, 7 Dec 40, sub: Orgn of the FF. 320.2/78. 

' Memo (C) G-3/40679 of Acting ACofS G-3 WD for the CofS USA, 27 Nov 40, sub: Tac Orgn 
of GHQ Avn Air Districts and Wings. 320,2/4 (C). 



GENERAL HEADQUARTERS, 1940-42 



119 



who must be placed over air and ground forces alike and be held responsible for 
operations as a whole.^ 

Creation of the Four Defense Commands 

Action taken by the War Department in March 1941 embodied most, but 
not all, of General McNair's ideas. A formal order of 17 March divided the 
United States into four defense commands — ^Northeastern, Central, Southern, 



and Western/ (See Chart No. 4. ) Each defense commander was to be responsible 
in peacetime for planning all measures against invasion of the area of his com- 
mand. Should such invasion occur, he was to take charge of operations until 
otherwise directed by the War Department. To avoid accumulation of overhead, 
the commanding general of each of the four armies was designated as the 
commanding general of the defense command within which his headquarters 
was located, and the army staffs, with some reinforcement, were used as the staffs 
of the defense commands, GHQ was made responsible for the supervision and 
coordination of their planning, but not "until such time as the staff of GHQ has 
been expanded to undertake these additional responsibilities." 

The same order of 17 March replaced the four air districts with four air 
forces. To prevent confusion between territorial and mobile activities, against 
which General McNair as well as General Chancy of the Air Corps ^ had warned, 
each air force was divided into a fixed and a mobile echelon. The fixed echelon 
would control bases, airdromes, aircraft warning services, etc. The mobile eche- 
lon would comprise a bomber command and an interceptor command. "Inter- 
ceptor Command" was the name now chosen for what the proposals of the 
preceding fall called "Air Defense Commands" and was in turn to yield to the 
name "Fighter Command" in 1942. Under whatever name, pursuit (i, e,, fighter) 
planes as distinguished from bombers were meant. 

The order of 17 March did not fully provide the regional unity of responsi- 
bility desired by General McNair. The four air forces stood directly under the 
GHQ Air Force. They were not subordinate to the defense commands and were 
only roughly coterminous with them. 

* Memo (C) o£ Gen McNair for ACofS G-3 WD, 14 Dec 40, sub as above. 320.2/4 (C), 

^WD Itr (C) AG 320.2 (2-28-41) M-WPD-M to CofS GHQ, etc, 17 Mar 41, sub: Defense 

Plans-^ontincntal US. With attached charts. AGO Records (C) . 

**'Plan for Organization," with pencilled note in Gen McNair's hand, "Gen Chancy's view, handed 

to me 3-12-41 by Maj. Savilie.*' 320.3/4 (C). 



XXX 




ChartNo.s 

Organization Plan for Field Forces, 28 April 1^41 



ARMY 
TROOPS 



FIRST 



XX I XX XX I XX XX I XX XX I XX 



SECOND 



THIRD 



FOURTH 



The Army CommmJcr iJso commands Defense Commands in peace and 
untiJ otherwise directed by the War Depanment. 



NE 
DEFENSE 
COMMAND 



CENTRAL 
DEFENSE 
COMMAND 



SOUTHERN 

DEFENSE 
COMMAND 




WESTERN 
DEFENSE 
COMMAND 



The Commanding General, De- 
fense Command, is responsible for 
the planning and execution of all 
measures of ground and air in de- 
fense of the area of the Defense 
Command, 



SECTORS 



I MOBILE 1 
[ GROUND I 
TROOPS* j 



1ST AIR FORCE 1 
I I 
I J , 

I I I Attached in whole or in part for 

I I t operations when directed by the 

I i I WaT Department. 

L I J 



HARBOR 
DEFENSE 



* To be attached from Army or Corps ai 
required for combined training. To be 
atstgoed in color plans. 



HARBOR 
DEFENSE 



CHIEF 
OF 

STAFF 




The Commanding Genera,!, GHQ Air Force, is 
responsible for the peacetime direction and control GHQ 
of all GHQ aviation and of alt organization and AIR 
combined training for active defense of the conti- FORCE 

nental United States against air attack, | , „ ... 



Any part or all of the mo- 
bile echelon of these forces 
is subject to withdrawal 
ts ta.sk forces provided in 
color plans or as directed 
by GHQ. 



1ST AIF 


. FORCE 


MOBILE 
ECHELON 


FIXED 
ECHELON 



2D AIR 


FORCE 


MOBILE 
ECHELON 


FIXED 
ECHELON 



3D AIR 


FORCE 


MOBILE 
ECHELON 


FIXED 
ECHELON 



4TH AIB 


I FORCE 


MOBILE 
ECHELON 


FIXED 
ECHELON 



BOMBER 
COMMAND 



INTER- 
CEPTOR 
COMMAND 



INTER- 
CEPTOR 
PURSUIT 
AVIATION 
MOBILE 
AWS 



AA ARTY 
BALLOONS 
SEARCH- 
UGHTS 



FIXED AWS 
OBSERVERS 



AIR BASES 



To be attached froni GHQ as required for 
combined trainiog. To be assigned for 
defense in color plus or as directed by 
GHQ. 



122 



ORGANIZATION OF GROUND COMBAT TROOPS 



For peacet ime planning and preparation the distribution of authority was 



not clear. (See Chart No. 5. ) The principle of regional unity was recognized 
in the provision that the ^'planning for all measures of defense" in each area 
should rest with the commanding general of the defense command. But the 
conflicting principle of functional autonomy was recognized on the same page 
of the order, where responsibility for "the aviation and air defense portions of 
defense plans for Defense Commands" was conferred upon the commanding 
general of the GHQ Air Force. This provision was strengthened by additional 
instructions issued on 25 March, which directed that "current plans for organi- 
zation of means of air defense will be transferred from the army commanders 
and other commanders to the commanding general, GHQ Air Force," and 
that the latter should nominate his own representatives on local joint planning 
committees.* In the geographical situation of the United States, with attack 
unlikely except by air, this was a considerable limitation on the planning powers 
of the regional defense commanders. The discrepancy was noted at once by 
General McNair as well as by others and led to prolonged discussion in the 
War Department. To General McNair it seemed "manifest that there must be 
a unified responsibility in peace for the preparation of war plans, even as there 
must be an undivided command within the defense command in war." 

The question became even further entangled in the summer of 194 1. By 
the directive of 3 July 1941, GHQ received authority to supervise the planning 
of commanders of defense commands. But in June the Army Air Forces had 
been established as an autonomous clement in the War Department, and the 
GHQ Air Force, renamed the Air Force Combat Command and responsible 
only to the Chief of the Army Air Forces, was no longer subject to even such 
limited authority as GHQ had exercised over it, carrying with it the power to 
make aviation plans for defense commands.^^ Nevertheless, General McNair 
continued his efforts to have planning authority transferred from the Army 
Air Forces to the regional commanders by whom, in case of attack, the plans 
would presumably be executed. On 15 August 1941 General McNair stated his 
position in full detail. He requested that the plans of the Air Forces for a 



" (i) WD Itr cited in | footnote 7]. (2) WD Itr AG 320.2 (3-24-41) M-WPD-M to CGs, CofS GHQ, 
etc, 25 Mar 41* sub: Defense I'lans — Continental US. AGO Records. 

" (i) Memo WPD 4247-9 of Gen McNarncy for CofS, — Apr 41, sub: Defense Planning — Continental 
US. 320.2/158/9. (2) Memo of Gen McNair for ACofS WPD, 14 May 41, sub as above, 320.2/158/9. (3) 
Memo G-3/45316 of Gen Twaddle for CofS USA, 10 Apr 41, sub as above, 320.2/28 (GHQ, Army and 
Corps) (C). (4) Memo (C) of Gen McNair for ACofS G-3 WD, 5 Jun 41, sub as above. 320.2/28 (GHQ, 
Army and Corps) (C). "AR 95-5, 20 Jun 41. 



GENERAL HEADQUARTERS, 1940-42 



123 



theater be submitted to GHQ, to be embodied, if approved, in a directive from 
GHQ to the theater commander; that local plans proposed by a theater com- 
mander be transmitted through GHQ to the Chief of the Army Air Forces 
for approval or comment; and that, at the outbreak of hostilities, GHQ be 
given command of the air forces assigned to the theater with authority to take 
the necessary action to obtain such air reinforcements as might be requested." 

Regional unity for war operations was provided for by the directive of 17 
March. As construed by the War Department, this directive prescribed in case of 
war the attachment of an air force to its geographically corresponding defense 
command. The basic War Department strategic plan stated explicitly: "When 
the War Department, to meet an actual or threatened invasion, activates a The- 
ater of Operations (or similar command) in the United States contiguous 
territory for the combined employment of air forces and ground arms (other 
than antiaircraft artillery), the commander of the theater (or similar com- 
mander) will be responsible for all air defense measures in the theater." This 
hypothetical situation became a reality with the declaration of war the following 
December. The First Air Force was attached to the Northeastern Defense Com- 
mand, which was now activated and renamed the Eastern Theater of Opera- 
tions, The Fourth Air Force was attached to the Western Defense Command, 
which was in effect alerted as a theater of operations while retaining its old 
name. The Second and Third Air Forces, in the interior of the country, remained 
for training under the Air Force Combat Command. On the two coasts, the 
theater commanders obtained unity of command including aviation. The prin- 
ciple of unity, strongly advocated by General McNair, had been adopted for the 
potential combat zones." 

Coordination of Antiaircraft Weapons and Pursuit Aviation 

Though in matters of higher command and planning General McNair 
sought to moderate the claims of the air forces, in the coordination of aviation 

(i) Memo o£ Lt Col Miiburn for Lt Col Harrison, WPD, ii Jul 41, sub: Modification of Instructions 
Contained in WD Itr AG 320.2 (2-28-41) M-WPD-M, 17 Mar 41, sub: Defense Planning — Continental 
US. 320,2/158/12. (2) GHQ memo (S) for CofS USA, 15 Aug 41, sub: Functions, Responsibilities and 
Authority of GHQ. AGO Records, WPD 4558 (S), Tab 11. A complete analysis of this memorandum will 
be found in Sections IX and X below. 

^(1) Rainbow 5, 1941, Register No 14 (S), par 40 c (i), Sec VIII, OPD Records (S). WD Itr (S) 
AG 381 (12-16-41) MSC-F to CG First Army and CofAAF, 19 Dec 41, sub: Responsibility for Defense 
against Aircraft in Eastern US. AGO Records. (3) Min (S) Staff Conferences, GHQ, 26 Dec 41. 337 (S). 



124 



ORGANIZATION OF GROUND COMBAT TROOPS 



and antiaircraft artillery he found himself trying to impose on the air forces 
more control of ground forces than they were willing to assume* 

As early as May 1940, the Air Defense Command under General Chaney 
began to organize southern New England into a test sector for a rehearsal of 
defense measures against air attack. The test sector exercise was executed in 
January 1941. Pursuit planes, coast artillery, regional filter boards, and the air- 
craft warning service, manned both by military personnel and by civilian volun- 
teers, cooperated to resist a simulated attack by American bombers. Three ob- 
servers from GHQ were present: the Air officer, Colonel Lynd, and the two Coast 
Artillery officers, Lt. CoL Bryan L. Milburn and Lt. Col. Morris C. Handwerk.^* 

Colonel Lynd's report to General McNair, dated i February 1941, concluded 
that the main lesson learned from the test was the need of putting antiaircraft 
defense under air command. This doctrine was accepted by GHQ and was in- 
corporated in a War Department order of 7 March, assigning to the GHQ Air 
Force the responsibility for air defense in the continental United States. Ten 
days later the order of 17 March, establishing an interceptor command within 
each of the four air forces, provided specifically that antiaircraft artillery, search- 
lights, and balloon barrages should be attached to interceptor commands during 
operations.^ 

Precisely how the interceptor commander, always an Air otficer, should exer- 
cise his control over these ground elements was a question admitting many 
different answers. There was agreement on the general aim. The interceptor 
commander must distribute local responsibilities for defense between ground 
elements and pursuit planes and, when both came into action in the same place, 
he must prevent his pursuit planes from being shot down by friendly artillery 
or entangled in friendly balloon barrages. Experience in England had shown 
that such mishaps were all too common.'* Tactical coordination required cen- 
tralization of command and intelligence together with very rapid channels of 
command and communication. 

" (i) Memo (C) G-3/29400-42 of Gen Andrews for CofS, 2 Oct 40, AGO Records (C). (2) GHQ 
memo (C) for ACofS G-3 WD, 3 Dec 40, sub: Avn Units and Personnel for "Test Sector." 353/24 (C). 
(3) Tng Memo No 5, Air Defense Comd, "Test Sector" Opn, 5 Dec 40. 353/24 (C). (4) Memo (C) of 
Lt Col Handwerk for CofS GHQ, 29 Jan 41, sub: Rpt on Visit to CA Units and Air Defense Comd Exercises. 
353/24 (C). (5) Memo (C) of Col Lynd for CofS GHQ, i Feb 41, sub: Test Opns for Air Defense Comd. 

353/29 (C). 

"WD Itr AG 320.2 (3-6-41) M-C-M to CGs, etc, 7 Mar 41, sub: Air Defense. 320.2/158/1. 



(2) WD Itr cited in footnote 7 above. 

"Ltr ACC 354.2 (8-21-41) of CG AFCC to CofS GHQ, 21 Aug 41, sub: AAA in Interceptor Comd 
Exercises. 353/1 (Interceptor Comds), 



GENERAL HEADQUARTERS, 194(M2 



125 



As a result of experience in the test sector exercise, General Chaney recom- 
mended that the fire of all antiaircraft artillery be controlled by regional officers 
of the interceptor command, and G-3 of the War Department drew up a 
proposal to this effect. The Chief of Coast Artillery accepted the principle but 
made an exception for combat zones, considering it impracticable that antiair- 
craft batteries in the actual presence of enemy bombers should await instruc- 
tions from a regional officer.^^ The question was taken up by the Air Defense 
Board, created in April 1941 and composed of the Chief of Coast Artillery, the 
Chief Signal Officer, and the Commanding General of the GHQ Air Force, 
General Emmons. The board agreed with the Chief of Coast Artillery, excepted 
combat zones from the terms of the War Department proposal, and suggested 
the appointment of an Antiaircraft Artillery officer on the staff of the inter- 
ceptor commander." 

Reluctance of Air to Accept Command over Ground Forces 

General McNair took issue with the findings of the Air Defense Board. 
On 9 July he pointed out that coordination of air defense was at least as 
necessary in combat zones as elsewhere. He insisted on unity of command over 
all air defense means. "It follows," he wrote, "that organic corps and army anti- 
aircraft units should be abolished. All such units should be assigned or attached 
to interceptor commands." He recommended also that the proposed staff officer 
be replaced by an antiaircraft command officer, who should stand in relation 
to the interceptor commander somewhat as the commander of divisional 
artillery stood to the commanding general of a division.^* 

The issue between GHQ and the Air Forces was now reduced to two ques- 
tions: (i) whether an interceptor commander should have all antiaircraft 
artillery in his area assigned or attached to his command, and (2) whether he 
should exercise command over such artillery, or only "operational control." 
The latter phrase, borrowed from the British, was favored by many officers in 

" (i) Memo (C) G-3/40000-1 of Gen Twaddle for the CofCA, 2 Jun 41, sub: Rpt on Air Defense 
Comd Exercise. (2) 1st ind to preceding, CofA to CofS GHQ. 14 Jun 41. (3) GHQ 2d ind, Gen McNair 
to ACofS G-3, 9 Jul 41. All in 353/24 (C). 

" Memo of Air Defense Bd for CofS USA, dated in pencil 18 Jun 41, sub: Control of Antiaircraft Units. 
320.2/158/11. 

" Memo of Gen McNair for the Air Defense Bd, 9 Jul 41, sub as above, 320.2/1 58/1 1 . 



126 



ORGANIZATION OF GROUND COMBAT TROOPS 



the Army Air Forces. On both questions General McNair insisted on the larger 
powers for the air commander. 

During the following months the Air Force Combat Command, under 
General Emmons, acting for the Chief of the Army Air Forces, prepared a 
draft for a Basic Field Manual, Air Defense, which was submitted to GHQ 
for comment in October 194 1, General McNair, in consultation with General 
Clark, Colonels Milburn and Handwerk of the GHQ Coast Artillery Section, 
and Colonel Lynd, now liaison oflEcer representing the Air Forces at GHQ, 
prepared comments which restated his basic views. He objected to the term 
"operational control" as uncertain in meaning and recommended the substitu- 
tion of the word "command." Moreover, he insisted that an interceptor com- 
mand should include all antiaircraft weapons in the area and urged the creation 
of antiaircraft commands to be placed under interceptor commanders.^ 

These recommendations, dated 22 October and repeated in a memoran- 
dum of November,^ were eventually incorporated in training circulars pub- 
lished by the War Department. Training Circular No. 70, 16 December 1941, 
stated: "All antiaircraft artillery and pursuit aviation operating within the 
same area must be subject to the control of a single commander designated for 
the purpose." Training Circular No. 71, 18 December 1941, repeated almost 
word for word General McNair's language on the creation of antiaircraft 
commands under interceptor commanders and used the word "command" to 
the exclusion of "operational control." 

The Air Forces was not satisfied. On 30 December General Emmons sub- 
mitted to the Chief of the Army Air Forces an amended draft of the proposed 
Basic Field Manual on Air Defense. Though General Emmons stated that all 
acceptable changes had been made, some of General McNair's main criticisms 
made on 29 November had not been embodied.^^ In view of this development 
General McNair renewed his objection to the term "operational control." It 
is "objectionable," he wrote, "because it is unnecessary. The relation between 
the interceptor command and antiaircraft units operating in the same area is 

Memo of Gen McNair for CofAAF, 12 Oct 41, sub: Basic Field Manual, Air Defense, Tentative. With 
supporting documents. 320.2/158/15. 

**Memo of Gen McNair for ACofS G-3 WD, 29 Nov 41, sub: Antiaircraft Units in Air Defense. 
320.2/158/16. 

" (i) Draft: Basic FM, Air Defense, Tentative. (2) AFCC memo ACC 300.7 (8-23-41) for CofAAF^ 
30 Dec 41, sub: Air Defense Manual. (3) AAF ist ind to CO FF, CofCA, and CSigO, 7 Jan 42, on preceding. 
All in 320.2/158/15. 



GENERAL HEADQUARTERS, 1940^2 



127 



either command or cooperation. It cannot be something between these two." 

In January 1942 Brig. Gen. Clinton W. Russell became Chief of the Air 
Support Section of the Air Force Combat Command, which was located at 
GHQ. In his last post, as Chief of Staff to General Emmons, he had signed 
most of General Emmons' refusals to adopt General McNair's recommenda- 
tions, but he now came to agree with General McNair, "The term 'operational 
control/ " he reported on 14 February 1942 to General McNair, . . is giving 
considerable difficulty. Action is required either to define the term explicitly 
or do away with it altogether and establish unity of command." "* 

The Basic Field Manual on Air Defense, when finally published on 24 De- 
cember 1942, embodied General McNair's recommendations. The phrasing was 
less simple and clear-cut than that suggested by him, but "all" antiaircraft 
weapons were put under the "command" of die interceptor commander, and 
no use was made of the term "operational control." " 



^ GHQ 2d ind to CofCA and CSigO, 19 Jan 42, on memo in footnote 22 (2) above. 320.2/158/15. 

Memo o£ Gen RusscU for CofS GHQ, 14 Feb 42, sub: Opn Control. 320.2/158/16. 
" FM 1-25, Air Defense, 24 Dec 42. 



IX. Failure to Develop the 
Plans of 1921 



When authority to plan and control operations was vested in GHQ on 3 
July 194I5 an initial step had been taken toward putting into effect the policy 
for "mobilizing" the War Department laid down in the 1921 Report of the 
Harbord Board. That plan had been somewhat revised in 1936, but ^ts central 
feature was still the transfer of the Chief of Staff, or the assignment of a com- 
mander designated by the President, to duty as commanding general of the 
field forces. At the outbreak of hostilities this commander was to take with him 
into the field as his GHQ the War Plans Division reinforced by members of other 
staff divisions/ By July 194 1 the difficulties that would attend immediate execu- 
tion of this feature of the mobilization plan were becoming apparent, and only 
the first steps were taken. 

For a year before hostilities were openly declared the United States, taking 
over protective bases and arming friendly powers, was engaged in operations 
requiring centralized military direction. By June 1941 it was clear that in case 
of war combat operations might come quickly. But war had not begun, and with 
Europe occupied by the Axis and with Japan threatening in the Pacific no great 
single theater of operations was in sight into which, immediately or eventually, 
the forces being trained in the United States would be launched with an organiza- 
tion similar to the American Expeditionary Force of 1917-18. War was coming 
in a form not anticipated by the Harbord Board, which had generalized the 
experiences of World War I. The present emergency forced General Marshall 
and GHQ to remain in Washington to supervise and direct the current major 
task of the Army, consisting not only of the training of the troops and the pro- 
curement of equipment but also of the preparation of task forces for such opera- 
tions as seemed probable in the near future. Another difficulty was raised by the 
possibility of hostilities in more than one major theater. In this case General 



' Sec above j p. 5^ 



GENERAL HEADQUARTERS, 1940-42 



129 



Marshall and his staff could not take the field in any one of these without defeat- 
ing the plan of having the operative functions of the War Department delegated 
to a single agency, as they had been in the circumstances of 1917-18. Meanw^hilc, 
until the future course of events could be more clearly foreseen, WPD could not 
become the staff of GHQ. That division of the General Staff w^as more than ever 
needed to advise on the adjustment of strategy to the rapid shifts taking place 
in the world situation. All that was clear in July was that "a number of relatively 
minor and widely separated theaters" were developing. GHQ, with a reinforced 
staff, could be used to expedite action in dealing with these, and it was so used. 
For several months after 3 July the 192 1 plan for GHQ seems still to have 
been the guide to action. GHQ expected to receive command of all theaters, 
overseas departments, and task forces when war came or before.^ WPD re- 
peatedly referred to the assignment to GHQ of all active theaters as the accepted 
policy.^ But, although the Eastern and Western Defense Commands were 
declared theaters of operations after Pearl Harbor and passed to the control of 

* On 6 Aug 41 the Deputy Chief of Staff GHQ reported "discussion now going on toward turning over 
the P[hilippine] I[slands] to GHQ** (Min (S) of Staff Conferences, GHQ, 6 Aug 41. 337 (S)). The next 
day he notified all sections that Hawaii and the Caribbean were to be expected i September; Alaska, 15 
September, (GHQ memo (S) to all gen and sp staff sees, 7 Aug 41, sub: Expansion of GHQ. 320.2/22 (S).) 
On 8 August the advance copy of a directive regarding "additional bases with projects and project officers*' 
was announced (Diary (S), GHQ, 8 Aug 4i, 314.81 (S)), and on 9 August the Deputy Chief of Staff 
announced that "in general, all projects and outlying bases are to be ours/* (Min (S) of ^taff Conferences, 
9 Aug 41, 337 (S).) On 15 August General McNair specifically recommended that the planning responsi- 
bilities of GHQ be extended to include the Caribbean and Alaskan Defense Commands and its command 
responsibilities to include the Philippines. (Sec IV, a and GHQ memo (S) for CofS USA, 15 Aug 41, 
sub: Functions, Responsibilities, and Authority of GHQ. AGO Records, WPD 4558 (S), Tab II.) On 25 
October the Deputy Chief of Staff announced "receipt at GHQ of WD approval of our letter to place bases, 
defense commands, and overseas departments under GHQ for planning." (Min (S) of Staff Conferences, 
25 Oct 41. 337 (S).) On 14 November he informed the GHQ staff: "The Chief of Staff gave us a policy 
yesterday. He docs not andcipate transfer of Hawaii, Philippine Islands and Alaska to control of GHQ 
before next spring." (Min (S) of Staff Conferences, 14 Nov 41. 337 (S).) As late as 5 December the GHQ 
concepdon of its prospective command mission was expressed as follows: *To serve as a command agency 
for the War Department for all Theaters of Operations, existing and potential, as designated by the War 
Department." (GHQ memo of Gen Malony for CofS GHQ, 5 Dec 41, sub: GHQ Orgn. 320,2/3/108,) 

' (i) *'In time of war, it is anticipated that GHQ will coordinate and supervise operations in all theaters 
and in all overseas departments and bases." Sec I, par 11, WPD memo (S) for CofS USA, undated but 
Aug 41, sub: Functions and Authority of GHQ. 320.2/4 (S). This policy is recommended in sec II, par 5. 
(2) "At such time as a theater becomes active and combat operations are indicated, GHQ can then properly 
act as the agency through which the Chief of Staff exercises his command funcdons." Par 15, sec I, memo 
(S) of Gen L. T. Gerow for CofS USA, 30 Aug 41, sub: Functions, Rcsponsibilides and Authority of GHQ, 
AGO Records, WPD 4558 (S), (3) "... it is intended that GHQ will exercise superior command over all 
active theaters.** WPD memo for CofS USA, 23 Sep 41, sub: Preparation of Plans. AGO Records, WPD 
4175-18. 



130 



ORGANIZATION OF GROUND COMBAT TROOPS 



GHQ, command of any theater in which the enemy was fought was never vested 
in that headquarters. 

The Outloo\ of GHQ on its Mission 

The outlook and evolution of GHQ as a planning and operational head- 
quarters was profoundly influenced by the ideas of its Deputy Chief of Stajff, 
General Malony, who had joined GHQ on 17 June 1941. His views were domi- 
nated by the belief that there was urgent need for a single command post in the 
War Department and that GHQ should become that post. 

His previous studies and his recent experience had brought him to this 
conclusion. Until 1940 he had been on a tour of duty at the War College as an 
instructor in the G-4 Section, and in the last year of this tour he had been chief 
of that section. His studies had convinced him of the fundamental importance of 
logistics in military planning and in war. He formulated his conclusions in 
axioms inspired by the writings of General Sir John Frederick Maurice: Ground 
governs strategy. Weapons govern tactics. Supply governs administration. When 
the three are in balance, war becomes a science and an art. When they are out 
of balance, it becomes a thing of gambles and chances. 

General Malony also believed firmly in unity of command. He thought that 
the War Department should decide on over-all strategic plans and provide 
suitable types of personnel and materiel, but that the command of operations, 
including control of the necessary means, should be single and should be unified 
at the highest possible level* 

In 1940 he was detailed to the Devers-Greenslade Board, which made a 
survey of the Caribbean area, Bermuda, and Newfoundland with a view to 
recommending the areas to be leased from the British as bases. He was then 
sent to England by President Roosevelt on the Base Lease Comnaission, which 
negotiated the conditions of occupancy by the United States of the bases obtained 
from the British in exchange for fifty over-age destroyers. 

When General Malony returned to Washington he was more than ever 
convinced that war was imminent. But assigned to WPD and temporarily acting 
as its chief, he found that the need for meeting this danger was not sufficiently 
reflected in the operations of the General Staff. It seemed to him that no one was 
in a position to take decisive action or to do more than register concurrences or 

Mnterview of AGF Hist Off with Gen Malony, lo Jan 44. 



GENERAL HEADQUARTERS, 1940-42 



nonconcurrences. General Marshall directed General Malony, who had expressed 
his anxiety about this situation, to take a group of topflight officers from WPD 
to GHQ to assist that headquarters in operational planning and in executing 
plans. As Deputy Chief of Staff of GHQ, he was charged by General McNair 
with the supervision of its new planning and operational functions. 

General McNair was primarily interested in training. No evidence has 
been found to indicate that he welcomed the expansion given to the functions 
of GHQ on 3 July 194I5 but he shared the basic convictions of his deputy that 
command should be single and should include complete control of the means 
necessary to its exercise. He also shared with him a sense of the extreme 
urgency of the crisis and the need for prompt and expeditious action. A 
"classic soldier" ° in the fulfillment of his responsibilities, he gave his deputy 
loyal support. 

Limited Powers of GHQ 
as a Planning and Operational Headquarters 

The functions and authority of GHQ as redefined in July 1941 were 
hedged about with too many restrictions to permit it to achieve the results 
envisaged by those who shared the views of General Malony. The basic study 
for the directive of 3 July 1941 laid down the premise that in delegating 
authority to GHQ "the War Department should be careful to avoid the relin- 
quishment of that control which is essential to the execution of its respon- 
sibility for the Army's function in the conduct of war. To meet this responsibil- 
ity, the War Department must retain strategic direction of all military 
operations, . . , While it must make available to GHQ all of the means 
required, it should retain control of the means not essential to the full execution 
of those operations in process,"^ By the terms of the formal directive new 
authority was to be delegated to GHQ only if, as, and when. GHQ was to 
plan "as may be directed"; to control "in those theaters assigned to its com- 
mand"; to exercise command over task forces "from the date specified"; to 

" General of the Army George C. Marshall^ Address of Acceptance of the General McNair Plaque, 25 
May 45. 314.7 (AGF Hist). 

"Par 5, sec I memo (S) WPD 3209-10 for CofS USA, — Jun 41, sub: Enlargement of the Functions 
of GHQ. 320,2/1 (S). For the preliminary conference ("Present Colonel Ward, Colonel Brooks, and the 
undersigned") see "Note for Record" (S), 17 Jun 41, signed *'L. T. Gerow." AGO Records, WPD 320^11 (S) 



132 



ORGANIZATION OF GROUND COMBAT TROOPS 



command such forces in the United States "as shall hereafter, from time to 
time, be designated"; and in order to execute these missions have at its disposal 
"such credits , . . as may ... be specifically allotted." ' 

Problems of Incomplete Tactical Control 

GHQ immediately ran into difficulty in meeting the new responsibility 
assigned to it. In the first weeks of July 194 1 it was given the command of 
Bermuda and Newfoundland bases, "tactical control" of the Greenland garri- 
son, and the mission of preparing a task force to relieve the British in Iceland, 
but because of incomplete tactical control serious administrative complications 
quickly developed* 

On 25 July General McNair tried to resolve some of these difficulties by 
reconmiending that contiguous base commands be grouped in larger defense 
commands/ Approval of this proposal would assist GHQ in exercising the 
required coordination and at the same time indicate the willingness of the 
War Department to provide GHQ with means adequate for command. Spe- 
cifically, he recommended the immediate activation of a North Atlantic De- 
fense Command to consist initially of Newfoundland, Greenland, and Iceland, 
with headquarters at St. Johns. He pointed out that the directive enlarging 
the responsibilities of GHQ violated the principle that command responsibility 
must carry with it control of the necessary means to fulfill it. He observed that 
with few exceptions the new bases acquired by the United States had been 
"placed under the partial command of three different agencies (one for tactical 
command, one for supply, and one for construction) . . • His proposal 
to group contiguous bases, as well as his further recommendation that the 
Alaskan and Caribbean Commands be activated at once,® might lessen the 
confusion by putting more means at the disposal of GHQ, but it is clear from 
the memorandum that General McNair regarded these changes only as a 
palliative. GHQ had not been given control of all the means necessary to perform 

'WD Itr (R) AG 320.2 (6-19-41) MC-E-M, 3 Jul 41, sub: Enlargement of the Functions of GHQ. 
320.2/34 (S). 

'Memo (S) of CofS GHQ for CofS USA, 25 Jul 41, sub: Defense Comds. 320.2/32 (Gen Str) (S). 

' WPD pointed out that the Alaskan and Caribbean Defense Commands had already been activated. 
Sec I» par 12, WPD memo (S) for CofS USA» — Aug 41, sub: Functions and Authority of GHQ. 320.2/1 (S). 
What General McNair seems to have intended was that they should be placed under GHQ. 



GENERAL HEADQUARTERS, 1940-42 



its mission as an operational headquarters and therefore could not exercise 
command either promptly or effectively. General McNair later cited, as "an 
interesting example of superior command/' the set-up in the Newfoundland 
Base Command : ^® 

War Plans Division, WD Personnel and material resources available. 

Canadian-U, S. Permanent Defense 

Board . , . Defense Plan, 

Second Corps Area Supply other than air technical. 

Middletown Depot Air technical supply. 

Chief of Engineers Construction. 

Chief of Army Air Forces through Relief of the air squadrons at Newfoundland 

G-3 WD airport. 

GHQ Such inspection and coordination as is practicable 

under the circumstances. 

The con fusing positio n of GHQ in the chain of command is presented graph- 



ically in phart No. 6j which was prepared by General Malony and submitted to 
General McNair on 5 December .^^ 

The nub of the command problem of GHQ was its lack of control over 
material resources or supply. The arrangements for the control of logistics de- 
scribed above in the case of Newfoundland were essentially the same for other 
base commands as well as the Western and Eastern Theaters of Operations, when 
these were placed under GHQ in December i94i/^ In all cases the allotment, 
transfer, and movement of supplies on the basis of recommendations from GHQ 
remained directly under the control of War Department G-4 or of the Air Corps. 



" Par 3, memo (S) o£ CofS GHQ to ACofS WPD, 2. Sep 41, sub: Functions, Responsibility and Authority 
o£ GHQ Orgn. 320.2/1 (S). 

" Chart attached to GHQ memo of Gen Malony for CofS GHQ, 5 Dec 41, sub: GHQ Orgn. 320.2/3/108. 

" (i) Bermuda', Par 2, WD Itr (S) AG 320.2 BBC (7-8-41) MC-E-M to CofS GHQ, 8 Jul 41, sub: 
Comd o£ USA Units in Bermuda, supplemented by WD Itr (S) AG 320.2 BBC (12-8-41) MC-G-M» ii Dec 
41, sub as above. AGO Records, 320.2 (BBD) (7-8-41) (S). (2) Greenland: (a) WD Itr (S) AG 320.2 
(7-10-41) MC-E-M, 10 Jul 41, sub: Comd o£ USA Units in Greenland. AGO Records, 320.2/7 (Greenland) 
(S); (b) WD Itr (C) AG 320.2 (i 1-5-4 1) MC-C-M, 26 Nov 41, sub: Activation o£ Greenland Base Comd. 
AGO Records, 320.2/7 (Greenland Str) (S). (3) Western Defense Comd: WD Itr AG 320.2 (i 2-1 3-41) 
MC-D-M to CG WDC, 13 Dec 41, sub: G-4 Adm Order— Designation of WDC as a TO. AGO Records 
(S). (4) Eastern Theater of Opnr. WD Itr (S) AG 371 (12-19-41) MSC-E-M, 20 Dec 41, sub: G-4 Adm 
Order-^Dcsignation o£ ETC. AGO Records (S). 



^34 



ORGANIZATION OF GROUND COMBAT TROOPS 



The Air Problem 

Serious difficulties arose also from the relationship between GHQ and the 
Chief of the Army Air Forces, a relationship acknowledged in the War Depart- 
ment to be "indefinite and unsatisfactory." 

One source of these conflicts lay in the Air Force interpretation of the powers 
with which the Air arm was invested at the creation of the Army Air Forces on 
20 June 1941.^* By the terms of the basic regulation ( AR 95-5, AAF^ General Pro- 
visions) the Chief of the Army Air Forces, General Arnold^ assisted by a fully 
organized staff, was given very broadly authority to plan. He was directed to issue 
all plans for the new Air Force Combat Command and for the Air Corps; he 
was to determine "the requirements" of the Air Forces, "including overseas 
garrisons and task forces"; he was to plan "for defense against air attack of the 
continental United States." In regard to operations directed by the command- 
ing general of the Air Force Combat Command, the language of the regulation 
was sweeping. It gave that officer "control of all aerial operations," but that con- 
trol was clearly qualified by excepting from it units assigned or attached to task 
forces, overseas garrisons, or other commanders.^^ In general, the Army Air 
Forces started not only with strong convictions about air power, but also with 
the view that Air could not be used with maximum effect unless command was so 
arranged as to give full play to its unique mobility." It desired a large autonomy 
of command in the hands of Air officers in order not to be handicapped by com- 
manders whom it regarded as incapable of understanding the new Air 
problems because of their long experience and education concentrated on slow- 
moving ground forces. To appreciate the problem confronting GHQ it must be 
remembered not only that AR 95-5 recognized the Air Forces as a powerful 
autonomous entity, but also that General Arnold, Chief of the Army Air Forces, 
was Deputy Chief of Staff for Air. As such he had direct access to the Chief of 
StafI and did not have to obtain concurrences from the General Staff divisions 
of the War Department in proposing a directive. When GHQ was made an 
operational headquarters in July 1941, the new Chief of the Air Forces and the 
Chief of StafI of GHQ stood on the same footing, directly under General 
Marshall. 

"Par 14, sec I» WPD memo (S) for CofS, undated, sub: Functions and Authority o£ GHQ. (Incl to 
GHQ memo (S) of Gen McNair for DCofS, ii Aug 41, sub as above.) 320,2/4 (S). 

" See above fScction " Par a-b, par 4^, AR 95-5, 20 Jun 41, " Par 4 a, AR 95-5, 20 Jun 41. 

" Memo (S) of Cof AAF for CofS USA— Nov 41, sub: Reorgn of the WD. AGO Records, WPD 4614 (S). 



GENERAL HEADQUARTERS, 1940-42 



As soon as the new role of GHQ had been determined upon, General 
McNair personally sought from General Arnold his interpretation of the regula- 
tion governing the Army Air Forces. General Arnold later confirmed in writing 
the following definitions of his position: " 

There is no thought o£ invading the established chain o£ command. The term "tactical 
operations" (in par 3 b, AR 95-5) refers to the allocation of the necessary air units and 
other means, and does not include their employment within the theater of operations; the 
term "aerial operations" (par 4 a\ "control of all aerial operations") does not refer to combat 
operations. ... There is no thought of aerial combat operations controlled by the Air 
Force Combat Command, coincident with similar operations controlled by a theater 
commander. 

These statements are clear and definite, and no evidence has been found that 
General Arnold ever challenged the principle that, when a theater became active, 
the theater commander should be in complete command of all the means re- 
quired by his mission. But GHQ was aware that the Air Forces wished to 
broaden the definition of powers contained in its charter. On 24 October Brig. 
Gen. Carl Spaatz, the Chief of the Air Staff, declared that air war planning was 
a function of the Chief of the Army Air Forces. He explained that the air plan 
for a theater, when coordinated by WPD and approved by the Chief of Staff, 
provided all the essentials for detailed planning by the theater commander with- 
out need of "monitoring" by GHQ. He also proposed that "an air theater of 
operations should be recognized, wherein the primary function of the Army 
Air Forces therein is to conduct air warfare, with the ground forces performing 
the mission of protecting the air bases." General Spaatz further declared that 
the air defense of the continental United States was properly to be regarded as 
a responsibility of the Chief of the Army Air Forces and that the commanding 
general of the Air Force Combat Command, acting under him, must have the 
powers necessary to control combat operations, presumably throughout the 
United States/® On 14 November he objected to the language of a proposed 

On I July General McNair called on General Arnold and on 5 July sent him a memorandum of "the 
essence of your comment," asking General Arnold "to confirm or correct them as necessary," (GHQ memo 
for Gen Arnoldj 5 Ju! 41, sub: AR 95-5, 20 Jun 41.) General Arnold as Deputy Chief of Staff for Air replied 
in a memorandum for the Chief of Staff GHQ, 18 Aug 41, excusing his delay on the ground of absence 
from his office. 320.2/52 (AAF). 

"Par 8 a-c, par 9 a, par 10 a-b, memo (S) of CofAAF for ACofS WPD, 24 Oct 41, sub: Functions, 
Responsibilities and Authority of GHQ; signed by Gen Cart Spaatz, Chief of Air Staff. AGO Records, WPD 
4558 (S). 



Chart No. 6 

Command Functions, GHQ, i December ig^i 



AGENCY 


FUNCTION 






G 


TRAINING 
(SUPERVISION 
AND 
COORDiNATION) 




H 


COMMAND 


Q 


AIR 
REINFORCE. 

MENT 
(FURNISH ON 

CALL) 




RESPONSI. 

BILITY 
(EXCEPT AS 
INDICATED) 


COMMANDING 

GENERAL 
tST AIR FORCE 


AIR 
REINFORCE- 

MENT 
(FURNISH ON 

CALL) 


COMMANDING 

GENERAL 
1ST AIR FORCE 


TRAINING 
(SUPFAVISE AIR 
UNITS ONLV) 


CHIEF 
AIR SERVICE 
COMMAND 


SUPPLY 
(AC TECH ONLY) 


COMMANDING 

GENERAL 
2D CORPS AREA 


SUPPLY 
(SAME AS 
FOR UNITS 
OF FLD FORCES) 


COMMANDING 

GENERAL 
PANAMA CANAL 
D£PT 


SUPPLY 
(EXCEPT 
AC TECH) 


COMMANDING 
GENERAL 
PUERTO RICO 
DEPT 


SUPPLY 
(EXCEPT 
AC TTCH AND 
ENCR CONSTR) 


COMMANDING 
TRINiUAD BC 


SUPPLY 
(EXCEPT 
AC TECH AND 
ENCR CONSTS) 


CHIEF OF 
ENGINEERS 


CON. 
STRUCTION 


CHIEF OF 
ENGINEERS 


SUPPLY 
(ENCR CONSTR 
ONLY) 


US NAVY 


RESPONSI. 
BILITY 
(AS INDICATED) 




GHQ 



ATLANTIC 
BASES 



ICE- 
LAND 





DEFENSE COMMAND 
(CONTINENTAL US) 




GROUND COMBAT FORCES 

(CONTINENTAL US) 
(EXCEPT THOSE ASSIGNED 
TO AIR CORPS) 



MISCELLANEOUS 


(WHEN DIRECTED BY 


WAR DEPT) 


MIL 


TASK 


GHQ 


OPN 


FORCES 


RES 


1 















NOTES 

JOINT niAINING FORCES 

k. GHQ his ftencrat supervision over training of Army units prior to actual passing 
of such units to Navy control. 

b. GHQ is responsible for execution of Army tasks, which are interpreted from 
current joint directives to be: 

1. To make Army units and facilities available to the Navy at the proper time 
and place as called for. This involves GHQ planning, supervision of exe- 
cution of preparatory plans* notification and issuance of directives to the 
army, corps area, and department commanders involved in the joint training 
operations-. 

2. Normal supply of Army units during training operations. 

3. Providing and maintaining for an indefinite period a portion of the joint 
force HQ and staff. 

c. All responsibility for joint training rests with the Navy. Unity of command is 
exercised by the Navy, and all Navy units pass to Navy control when operations 
begin. 

CONSTRUCTION 

d. Tbe Army provides medical service for contractors* employees while employed 
at bases. 



. This responsibility is not direnly specified by the War Depanment. It is im- 
plied in the command function of GHQ. 

, The Army provides, for Marine Corps forces, supplies of rations, heating fuel, 
and other items agreed upon (120-day level). 

;. The Navy supplies refrigerated and fresh provisions, gas, and oil. 



138 



ORGANIZATION OF GROUND COMBAT TROOPS 



directive giving GHQ command of all army forces outside the continental 
United States. He raised the question of airplanes that might be flown to Ber- 
muda in defense of the continent. Under the proposed directive they w^ould 
cease to be under control of the Air Force commander.^° Finally, in November 
the Chief of the Army Air Forces, discussing the "priceless attributes of air 
power," advanced the view that these could be utilized more effectively only 
if "the Air Force is organized and controlled as a single entity" and placed on 
a footing of complete equality with the ground forces,^^ 

GHQ was aware not only that such were the views of the Air Force staff 
but that they were shared, in part at least, by WPD. In August that division ex- 
pressed the opinion that, inasmuch as GHQ was developing as a ground force 
command, its functions and authority should be modeled on those of the Army 
Air Forces. General McNair's comment was that the comparison "is inapt, since 
the Chief of the Army Air Forces does not command the aviation of overseas 
garrisons — at least not yet " ^" WPD adopted the Air Force view that the air 
defense of the United States was an Air Force problem and that it should be 
subject to air command unified under the Chief of Staff/^ 

It is not surprising, therefore, that General McNair and his staff felt it nec- 
essary to maintain a watchful defense of the authority granted to GHQ as they 
interpreted that authority. In June General McNair had stated his position in 
the following words : "There must be a unified responsibility in peace for the 
preparation of war plans, even as there must be undivided command within a 
defense command in war." " In a memorandum dated 15 August 1941 he dis- 

"Par 4, memo (S) of CofAAF for ACofS WPD, 14 Nov 41, sub: GHQ Dir; signed by Gen Spaatz. 
AGO Records, WPD 3209-10 (S). 

^ Par a, sec I, memo (S) of CofAAF for CofS USA, — Nov 41, sub: Reorgn of the WD. AGO Records, 
WPD 4614 (S). 

"Par 9, sec I, WPD memo (S) for CofS USA, — Aug 41, sub: Functions and Authority of GHQ. 
Incl to memo (S) of Gen McNair for DCofS GHQ, 11 Aug 41, sub: Functions and Authority of GHQ, 
320.2/4 (S). 

Par 5 sec I, WPD memo (S) for CofS USA, Nov 41, sub: Orgn of the Army High Comd. 320.2/1 (S). 
Also, "Consideration of Nonconcur rences," WPD memo (S) for CofS USA, 5 Jul 41, sub: Rainbow 5 (OPD 
Records, WPD 4175-18 Rainbow No 5 to sec i (S)) where the argument is stated as follows: "WPD considers 
that the clear intention of AR 95-5 is to place defense against air bombardment alone (as distinct from 
combined operations of air and ground forces other than antiaircraft units) under the Air Force. Only thus 
can most effective use be made of the strategic and tactical mobility of air power. Furthermore, such arrange- 
ment conforms to the principle of unity of command for each definite task to be performed. Initially, and 
until an enemy gains air and naval superiority, no hostile invasion can be attempted." 

** Comment of Gen McNair in par 2 r. Tab D, memo (C) G-3/45316 for ACofS G-3 WD, 5 Jun 41, sub: 
Defense Plans — Continental US. 320,2/28 (C). General McNair adhered to the same principle regarding the 



GENERAL HEADQUARTERS, 1940-42 



cussed the problem by starting with the principle of strict accountability for 
command, which the Chief of the Army Air Forces had acknowledged. He 
defined with much care and explicit detail the position of GHQ as distinguished 
from that toward which the Air Forces seemed to be working: 

I. 5. GHQ will assume command over such air forces as are assigned to theaters, 
Defense Commands and task forces [under GHQ] and will prepare plans for the utilization 
of these forces. These plans will be submitted to the Chief of the Army Air Forces for com- 
ment, GHQ will provide the local facilities for the employment of the combat air force 
as set forth in the approved plans of the Chief of the Army Air Forces. 

6. [Requests for air reinforcements will be made on GHQ by the theater com- 
mander.] GHQ will take the necessary action to provide [these reinforcements]. 

II. I. . , . GHQ will be guided by the following concept of responsibility for air plans 
and air operations: 

a. That during combat operations the Chief of Army Air Forces will be a member 
of the Staff of the Commander of the Field Forces and will, as such, operate as a 
member of the GHQ Staff; 

b. That in the preparation of plans for air operations the Chief of Army Air Forces 
will submit to GHQ the plans for the employment of the Combat Air Forces . . . ; 

c. Thai [he] will submit to GHQ the plans for the employment of the Combat 
Air Force on independent missions . . . ; 

d. [That these plans will] in each instance specify who exercises command over 
air operations conducted by the Combat Air Forces. 

c. That upon receipt of [these plans] GHQ will forward these plans with a 
directive to the commander of each Defense command or theater. The directive 
will require Defense commanders to prepare and forward to GHQ the appropriate local 
air plans to implement the plans of the Chief of Army Air Forces. 

/. GHQ will forward local air plans to the Chief of Army Air Forces for approval 
or comment. 

Clearly General McNair regarded the role of GHQ as more active than "monitor- 
ing" Air Force plans and directives. The views of GHQ and the Army Air 
Forces regarding the authority properly to be exercised by GHQ were far apart 



overseas bases and defense commands under GHQ. Sec GHQ memo (S) for Air Defense Bd, 23 Jun 41, sub: 
Orgn of US Air Defense System. 320.2/26 (Gen Str)(S). Pars 3 a and 4 a and b of AR 95-5, 20 Jun 41, 
adopted in spite of nonconcurrence of General McNair, kept open the question of control over planning and 
even over operations. For General McNair's nonconcurrence in these paragraphs see GHQ memo (C) for 
CofS USA, 18 Jun 41, sub: Revision of AR 95-5. 300.3/1 (GHQ AR) (C). 

"GHQ memo (S) for CofS USA, 15 Aug 41, sub: Functions, Responsibilities and Authority of GHQ. 
AGO Records, WPD 4558 (S). 



140 



ORGANIZATION OF GROUND COMBAT TROOPS 



and would require a definite decision by higher authority in the near future. 

On the relatively minor matter of air reinforcements for base commands 
an agreement was reached in accord with the views of GHQ. The original 
directives authorized the base commanders to call on the Air Forces directly 
for reinforcements.^ On 25 July General Russell, Chief of Staff of the Air 
Force Combat Command, requested the Chief of the Army Air Forces to see 
to it that air reinforcements desired by the commanding general of the Green- 
land Base Command be sought directly from GHQ, instead of the command- 
ing general of the First Air Force. The Chief of Staff of GHQ naturally 
approved this proposal and took the opportunity to request that plans be made 
at once "by the proper air staff, in collaboration with this headquarters, to pro- 
vide for the prompt air reinforcement of Iceland, Greenland, Newfoundland, 
and Bermuda Base Commands in case the need therefor should arise." Seven 
weeks later the Chief of the Army Air Forces expressed his willingness to 
comply. This action was received with much gratification at GHQ.^^ 

But completely harmonious cooperation was difficult to attain. On 5 July 
General Emmons, Commanding General of the Air Force Combat Command, 
complained that he had been informed only indirectly about the plans for the 
task force which was being prepared for dispatch to Iceland.^* On to December 
General Marshall, apparently in response to complaints, explained "that Gen. 
Arnold has not understood his position in the War Department organization; 
that he is Deputy for Air and in that capacity functions as other Deputies; that 
so far as Theaters turned over to GHQ are concerned, he will function as do 
other Deputies, viz., through GHQ." ^ On 28 January 1942 General McNair 
pointed out to General Marshall that GHQ, having been given command of 
United States operations in the British Isles, must be informed of "War De- 
partment plans (including air plans) pertaining to this theater," and invited 
his attention to the fact that the Deputy Chief of Staff for Air had sent the 
War Department a memorandum to implement plans for the theater without 

" Par 2 b, WD Itr (S) AG 320.2 BBC (7-8-41 ) MC-E-M, 8 Jul 41. sub: Comd of USA Units in Bermuda. 
AGO Records (S), A similar clause appears in the directives activating other bases. 

" ACC Itr (S) 320.2 (7-12-41) to CofAAF signed Russell. Brig Gen CofS Air Force Combat Comd, 25 
Jul 41, sub: Comd of US Army Units in Greenland, with 3 inds. AGO Records, 320.2/7 (Greenland Str) (S). 
Pencilled notes on 3d ind of CofAAF, 3 Nov 41; (i) "Deputy. This is in line with what wc planned to 
request!*' (2) "O.K. H.J.M.fa]ony. DCofSJ^ 

"Ltr (S) of CG AFCC to TAG, 5 Jul 41, sub: Preparation of Task Force Plans. AGO Records, 381 
(7-5-41) (S). 

"GHQ Diary (S), 10 Dec 41. 314.81 (S). 



GENERAL HEADQUARTERS, 1940-42 



141 



reference to GHQ."** Again on 11 February 1942 G-3 of the GHQ staff com- 
plained that GHQ was "having difficulty keeping up with orders affecting the 
American forces in the British Isles which are being issued by the Chief of the 
Army Air Forces," " 

Not only in Iceland and Great Britain but also in the Caribbean difficul- 
ties arose between GHQ and the Army Air Forces, On 7 January General 
McNair characterized as unsatisfactory the plans submitted by the Army Air 
Forces for the organization of the air force in the Caribbean Defense Com- 
mand, for which GHQ was then responsible. He found the "arguments ad- 
vanced those used generally by the Air Corps in its efforts to detach itself from 
the ground arms." But, since the commanding general of the theater was ah 
Air officer and the forces within the command were working smoothly, Gen- 
eral McNair confined himself to an extended "memorandum for record" clos- 
ing with the words: "It is to be hoped devoutly that the results may be satis- 
factory in case an enemy appears." 

Measures Tal^en to Improve the Position of GHQ 

Despite the many difficulties encountered by GHQ in performing the mis- 
sions assigned on 3 July 1941, only minor adjustments were made in the original 
grant of authority. GHQ obtained the right to summon theater -and task force 
staffs to the War College for planning purposes. It obtained from General 
Marshall a directive ordering the Air Forces to route theater requests for air 
reinforcements through GHQ,^^ But on the requests in General McNair's 25 
July memorandum favorable action was not taken.^* On the fundamental ques- 

" Memo (S) of Ccn McNair for CG FF, 28 /an 42, sub: Comd o£ US Opns in British Isles. AGO Records, 
320.2/94 (NIStf BI) (S). 

" Min (S) of Staff Conferences, 11 Feb 42. 337 (S). 

"M/R (S)» 7 jan 42, sub: Orgn of Caribbean Air Force, with papers bearing on the question. AGO 
Records, 320.2/97 (CDC) (S). 

(i) The need is suggested in par 2, sec II, GHQ memo (S) for CofS USA, 15 Aug 41, sub: Functions, 
Responsibilities, and Authority of GHQ. AGO Records, WPD 4558 (S). On 23 September the Deputy Chief 
of Staff, GHQ, requested authority to issue directives calling in for consultation not only commanders of task 
farces, bases, and defense commands, but also representatives of the Projects Group of WPD and the War 
Plans Division of the new Army Air Forces. Memo of DCofS GHQ for CofS USA, 23 Sep 41, sub: Preparation 
of Plans. OPD Records, WPD 4175-18. (2) The policy was approved 21 October with the provision that 
representatives of WPD and the Air WPD might be too busy to appear in person when summoned for 
consultation, but could be consulted by arrangement. WD Itr (S) AG 381 (9-4-41) MC-E, 22 Oct 41, sub: 
Preparation of Plans for Task Forces, Bases and Defense Comds. AGO Records (S). 
For this memo see above, [pT 132.I 



142 



ORGANIZATION OF GROUND COMBAT TROOPS 



tion of the control of supplies the War Department adhered firmly to the position 
stated in the original directive that this control must remain in its own hands. 
On 21 July WPD reaffirmed and defined this position: *'The directive and [the 
GHQ functional] chart do not contemplate that GHQ will take over functions 
of G-4. Rather GHQ v^^ill control only such supply credits as are specifically 
allotted to it by the War Department. These allotments will be made by G-4 
acting for the War Department " In January 1942 a modus vivendi wzs at- 
tained by establishing a procedure for coordination between WPD, G-4, GHQ, 
and theater commanders with regard to planning, command, and supplies.^^ 
After the outbreak of hostilities General Marshall directed that the following 
sentence be added to all orders pertaining to the movement of units and equii>- 
ment: "GHQ is charged with the execution of this order," Moreover, General 
Arnold was instructed to forward to GHQ for transmittal all orders for activities 
under the control of GHQ. It was understood that the object was (r) to enable 
GHQ to act more expeditiously, and (2) to give it, temporarily at least, "super- 
vision and follow-up responsibilities" with respect to all movement orders. To 
assist it in the latter task GHQ was presently authorized to "deal directly" with 
other War Department agencies." In addition a grant of authority was given to 
GHQ on 17 December 1941 to discharge enlisted men, direct travel in overseas 
commands, and grant leaves of absence — an authority which had been requested 
on 29 August. 

War had come suddenly and on two fronts. The plan proposed by the Har- 
bord Board in 1921 had to be reconsidered in the shortest time possible in the 
light of the new situation. A decision had to be reached whether the direction 
of future operations should be vested in GHQ or the General Staff of the War 
Department. 

" Memo (5) WPD 3209-10 for CofS USA, 21 Jul 41, sub: GHQ Functional Chart. AGO Records, 320,2 
(Enlargement of GHQ) (5). 

"WD memo (S) G-4/34015 for CG FF, 24 Jan 42, sub: Coordination between WPD, G-4 WD, GHQ 
and Overseas Theater Comdrs. 381/94 (Gen) (5). 

" (i) Memo (C) of Brig Gen L. T. Gerow for Col Smith, 10 Dec 41, sub: GHQ, "12/18/41. Noted- 
Office of Chief of Staff." AGO Records, WPD 3209-17 (C). (2) Par 2 b, WD Itr AG 320.2 (12-10-41) 
MO-C-M, II Dec 41, sub: Enlargement of Functions of GHQ. 320.2/3/1 10. 

**WD Itr AG 210.482 (7-30-41) PC-A, 17 Dec 41, sub: Delegation of Additional Authority to GHQ 
and Overseas Ease Comds, 320.2/3/77. The missions of GHQ in December, apparently finally defined and 
limited at that time, were summarized in an office memo for ACofS G-i WD, signed J. H. Hilldring, Lt Col, 
Executive, 18 Dec 41, sub; Operating Procedure with Respect to the Increased Functions and Responsibilities 
of GHQ. 320.2/870. 



X. The Dissolution of GHQ 
and the EstabUshment of 
Army Ground Forces 



General McNair's requests in his memorandum of 25 July 1941 for the 
enlargement of the authority of GHQ precipitated a long and critical discussion 
within the War Department, terminated only by the reorganization of 9 March 
1942. In the light of the strategic situation confronting the United States it was 
finally concluded that execution of the Harbord Board plan of 1921 was inad- 
visable. The training activities of GHQ were to be continued as a function of a 
new command, the Army Ground Forces, but its planning and operational 
responsibilities were transferred to agencies which received the powers never 
granted to GHQ. 

Reform of GHQ versus Reorganization of the War Department 

It was quickly seen that the proposals in General McNair's July memo- 
randum would, if adopted, "affect both the peace and war activities of almost 
every agency of the War Department." ^ On 14 August General Marshall re- 
ferred the issues raised to a board representing the five sections of the General 
Staff, the Chief of the Army Air Forces, and GHQ. Holding its first meeting on 
14 and 15 August, this board concluded with only one opposing voice that "a 
major reorganization of the War Department was in order." ^ Thereupon WPD 

*Par 4, memo (S) WPD 4558 for CofS USA, 30 Aug 41, sub: Functions, Responsibilities and Au- 
thority of GHQ. 320.2/1 (S) 

*Par I, memo (S) of Lt Col G. P. Hays, GHQ representative, for CofS, GHQ, 23 Aug 41, sub: Func- 
tions and Responsibilities of GHQ. 320.2/1 (S). See also pars 1-2, memo (S) of Gen McNair for Gen Brydcn, 
DCofS WD, 21 Oct 41, sub: Functions, Responsibilities and Authority of GHQ. 320.2/1 (S). The authority 
for the statement that only one member of the Board opposed reorg:anization is par 6, memo (S) of CofAAF 
for ACofS WD, 24 Oct 41, sub as above. AGO Records, WPD 4558 (S). 



144 ORGANIZATION OF GROUND COMBAT TROOPS 

drafted a study to implement this recommendation. It sketched an organization 
similar to that later put into effect in March 1942, in which GHQ was to be 
eliminated.^ But its study, which was to reappear in October, was soon with- 
drawn, and WPD proceeded with an effort to achieve a satisfactory redefinition 
of the "functions, responsibilities and authority" of GHQ.* This effort, continued 
through September and October, was finally defeated by wide divergencies of 
opinion and interest- The two successive formulas which WPD put forward 
proposed too little authority for GHQ to satisfy that headquarters and too much 
to obtain the concurrence of G-4, G-i, and G-3 of the War Department or the 
Chief of the Army Air Forces," In November the proposal to reorganize the 
entire War Department was again given the right of way. 

The Point of View at GHQ on Reorganization 

The criticisms at GHQ of the successive proposals to redefine its authority 
or to reorganize the War Department were focused on the lack of an executive 
agency in the War Department capable of dealing with operations compre- 
hensively and promptly. In his 25 July memorandum General McNair did not 
confine himself to specific proposals, but pointed out that under existing 
procedure * 

there is no War Department agency which at present can with satisfactory promptness, 

a. Coordinate the defense of contiguous bases, 

b. Operate economic supply, replacement, transportation and evacuation systems, 
r. Effect efficient administration. 

WPD memo (S) for Oofs USA, — Aug 41, sub; Orgn of die Army High Comd, 320,2/1 (S). 

* (i) Memo (S) WPD 4558 for CofS USA, — Aug 41, sub: Functions, Responsibilities and Authority 
of GHQ, 320.2/1 (S). This copy proposed to withdraw all bases from the control of GHQ; a copy dated 
30 Aug 41 in AGO Records, WPD 4558 (S), left Iceland under its controK The principle observed was that 
GHQ was to control bases and theaters only after they became active. (2) The second attempt was embodied 
in memo (S) WPD 3209-10 for CofS USA, — Nov 41, sub: GHQ Directive. AGO Records, WPD 3209-10 (S). 

"The comments and nonconcurrences of GHQ (2 Sep), of G-i WD (15 Sep), of G-2 WD (18 Sep), 
of G-4 WD, and of CofAAF (24 Oct) on the memo of 30 Aug are in AGO Records, WPD 4558 (S). The 
substitute study was WD memo for CofS USA, — Nov 41, sub: GHQ Directive. The memo and non- 
concurrences of G-3 WD (8 Nov)» of G-4 WD (8 Nov), of TAG (10 Nov), of G-2 WD (12 Nov), of 
G-I WD (13 Nov), and of CofAAF (14 Nov) are in AGO Records, WPD 3209-10 (S). In spite of the 
nonconcurrences, this memo was submitted to the Chief of Staff for approval. On 29 November it was "still 
on General Marshall's desk — not approved yet/* Pencilled note on memo (S) of Brig Gen H, F. Loomis 
for Gen Brydcn, 22 Nov 41, sub: GHQ Directive, WPD 3209-10 (S), 

•Par 3, memo (S) of Gen McNair for CofS WD, 25 Jul 41, sub: Defense Comds. 320.2/32 (Gen 
Str) (S). 



GENERAL HEADQUARTERS, 194(M2 



When the first plan for reorganizing the War Department was put forward 
by WPD in August, Lt. Col. George P. Hays, who represented GHQ in the 
August conferences, emphasized the same point in expressing his dissatisfaction 
with the reorganization proposed. He could not find the strong executive agency 
required and felt that the failure to provide one "shows either an xmwillingness 
on the part of the War Plans Division to face realities or a decision to put over 
a study in which the clement to furnish vitalization is implied rather than 
stated frankly." He believed that what the War Department machine needed 
was a "spark plug." "ResponsibiUty should be clearly fixed in one individual, 
designated as chief" of the desired command group. "His authority, under the 
Chief of Staff, to direct action by other War Department agencies must be 
unquestionable." His office "must not be drawn into current business nor should 
any other War Department agency be allowed to usurp its authority." ' When 
WPD produced its plan for increasing further the authority of GHQ, Colonel 
Hays returned to the charge: ® 

The basic concept underlying this study is that no real emergency exists and therefore 
there is no need, at this time, for the United States Army to prepare for combat operations. 
As long as persons in responsible positions within the War Department maintain this con- 
cept, they will successfully oppose the establishment of a command agency which can 
effectively prepare for and conduce combat operations. This study evades and offers no 
solution for the primary issue, i. e., that the United States Army now lacks an agency which 
is equipped to effectively prepare for and conduct combat operations, and that such an 
agency must be provided either in GHQ or within the War Department. 

On 5 December 1941, two days before Pearl Harbor, General Malony, the 
Deputy Chief of Staff, GHQ, commented on the "mission of GHQ" in these 
words: "The international situation is critical. Equipment is lacking. No 
adequate reserves are available. Experience to date indicates: (i) Transportation 
and delivery of supplies . . . is ineflScient (Iceland); (2) Joint Board procedure 
is ponderous and provides no direct supervision • . . ; (3) War Department 
retains control in such detail as to make administration confusing; (4) War 
Department is not organized on a war basis." ® 

' Quotations from various memos (S) of Col Hays for CofS GHQ, — Aug 41. 320.2/1 (S). 

'Memo (S) of Col Hays for CofS GHQ, 29 Aug 41, sub not given (evidently a comment on the first 
draft of memo (S) WPD 4558 for CofS USA, 30 Aug 41, sub: Functions, Responsibilities and Authority of 
GHQ). 320.2/1 (S). 

•Memo of DCofS GHQ for CofS GHQ, 5 Dec 41, sub: GHQ Rcorgn. 320.2/3/108. 



146 



ORGANIZATION OF GROUND COMBAT TROOPS 



In July, when planning and operational responsibilities had been given 
to GHQ, it had been decided that this headquarters was to be the executive 
agency of the War Department for "prompt decision and expeditious action," 
providing effective "coordination, conduct and control" of operations,^** 
Though powers were delegated to it only "if, as, and when," many officers at 
GHQ interpreted the step taken on 3 July as an action to implement the GHQ 
envisaged in the Harbord Report and embodied in the doctrine of the Army 
for twenty years. For several months after July 1941 the War Department, or at 
least the War Plans Division, adhered to that concept." Nevertheless, when the 
War Department delayed in giving GHQ the power it needed or in creating 
some other "spark plug" agency, it seemed at GHQ that the difficulty "boils 
down to the War Department not wanting to give up any authority." By 
December, after five months of strenuous effort. General Malony, who had been 
charged with making GHQ work as a planning and operational headquarters, 
reached the discouraging conclusions stated above. 



Basic Problems Encountered in the Attempt to Strengthen GHQ, 
August-November ig^i 

The War Department was in fact faced with a situation which made GHQ 
as conceived by the Harbord Board a device difficult to operate. The essentials 
of such a GHQ were (i) power to coordinate all operations outside the conti- 
nental United States, and (2) prompt executive action. But in July 1941, the 
war danger was developing in "a number of relatively minor and widely scat- 
tered theaters," instead of one major theater as in 1917, and coordination was 
an extremely difficult task. On the other hand, it was quickly seen that to make 
GHQ effective as a command agency, or even as a coordinating agency, it would 
have to be given control of supply. In his memorandum of 25 July General 
McNair pointed out that the command of each base theoretically under GHQ 
was actually divided between GHQ and two other War Department agencies. 

^Pars 1-4, sec I, memo (S) WPD 3209-10 for CofS USA, — Jun 41, sub; Enlargement of the Functions 
of GHQ, 320.2/1 (S). 

" See above^ lpp: 1 26-29.1 

" "Conference on GHQ functions is off on a new track and boils down to WD not wanting to give up 
any authority.** Min (S) of Staff Conferences, GHQ, 22 Aug 41, remarks of G-3. 337 (S). 



GENERAL HEADQUARTERS, 1940-42 147 

On 15 August he expressed the opinion that GHQ should be authorized to 
issue instructions directly to other War Department agencies in connection 
with the means assigned for the operation of overseas bases and theaters," 

The problem of supply formed the main obstacle faced by the 1921 plan 
for GHQ and became largely responsible for the dissolution of GHQ in 1942, 
Commenting on General McNair's 25 July memorandum, WPD promptly 
concurred in his idea "that control of supply is an essential element of com- 
mand." ^* But it stated at the same time that as long as a critical shortage of 
equipment and shipping continued and the demands of Lend-Lease, competing 
with those of the Army, had to be met, "rigid control by the War Department" 
would be necessary. The contention was raised that to give GHQ in Washington 
effective conmiand of overseas departments, bases, and theaters meant giving it 
powers which would place it above the War Department." The Chief of the 
Army Air Forces granted General McNair's position that GHQ could not 
exercise effective command imless given control of all agencies essential thereto. 
But the consequence, he declared, would be that "in substance GHQ must 
hiave control of War Department agencies. Quartermaster Corps, Ordnance 
Department, etc," " This conclusion was not believed at GHQ to be necessary. 
The need for higher coordination between the requirements of the Army and 
Navy and the demands of Lend-Lease was recognized. What was desired at 
GHQ was a block allotment of means to GHQ on the basis of a plan approved 
by the General Staff. But to this G-4 of the General Staff would not consent, 
insisting that it must review and check the supply and transportation 
requirements of all operations planned by GHQ and also pass on every 
requisition from a base, defense, or theater commander/^ 

"GHQ memo (S) for CofS USA, 15 Aug 41, sub: Fuactions, Responsibilities and Authority of GHQ. 
AGO Records, WPD 4558 (S),Tab 11. 

"Par 12, sec I, WPD memo (S) for CofS USA, — Aug 41, sub: Functions and Authority of GHQ, 
Incl to GHQ memo (S) of Gen McNair for DCofS, 11 Aug 41, sub as above. 320.2/4 (S). 

"Pars 9 and 11, sec I, memo (S) WPD 4558 for CofS, 30 Aug 41, sub: Functions, Responsibilities and 
Authority of GHQ, 320,2/1 (S), 

"Par 7, memo (S) of CofAAF for ACofS WD, 24 Oct 41, sub: Functions, Responsibilities and Au- 
thority of GHQ. AGO Records, WPD 4558 (S), 

" (1) "GHQ does not have an organization empowered or prepared to implement a supply plan for 
military operations/' Par i /, memo of Gen Brchon Somervell for CofS USA, 18 Jan 42. AGO Records, 
G-4/34015. (2) The matter was regulated as desired by G-4 by direction of the Chief of Staff, USA, in memo 
for CG, FF, 24 Jan 42, sub: Coordination between WPD, G-4 WDGS, GHQ and Overseas Theater Com- 
manders. AGO Records, G-4/34015, (3) The statement regarding the point of view of GHQ is based on 
interviews of AGF Historical Officer with Maj Gen. Harry J. Malony and Brig Gen Paul McD. Robinett. 



148 



ORGANIZATION OF GROUND COMBAT TROOPS 



As early as 2 September General McNair himself expressed doubt as to 
the workability of GHQ: 

Speaking broadly, superior command of the operations of two or more theaters may be by 
cither of two methods: 

a, GHQ — on the basis that the War Department is not organized suitably for the 
expeditious action required. It follows inevitably that, unless GHQ can be freed 
from the complications of War Department organization, there is little advantage 
and some disadvantage in having a GHQ. 

A War Department streamlined in the same general manner as Gen. Pershing 
streamlined his own GHQ — by establishing a Services of Supply. The War 
Department will then exercise superior command direcdy. 

The second alternative seemed to represent General McNair's preference for 
solving the problem of supply. "The views stated in the basic memorandum 
[a WPD memorandum of 30 August], coupled w^ith the brief experience of this 
headquarters to date, indicate that serious consideration should be given to the 
latter method — b — in spite of the upheaval involved." " 

On 21 October, no action having been taken in the War Department, 
General McNair returned to the issue, this time definitely stating his preference 
for reorganization; "I incline to favor the second line of action, to streamline 
the War Department by separating from it a zone of interior with its own 
commander, and absorbing GHQ into the War Department thus streamlined, 
and have rather indicated this view to the Chief of Staff." 

Development of the War Department Reorganization Plan, 
November ig^i-Marck ig^z 

The Chief of the Army Air Forces had advocated reorganization in the 
Board meetings in August. On 24 October he launched a drive to realize his 
original recommendations. This was accompanied by a proposal to enlarge still 

"Par 4, memo (S) of Gen McNair for ACofS WPD, a Sep 41, sub: Functions, Responsibility and 
Authority of GHQ. 320.2/1 (S). 

" Par 4, GHQ memo (S) of Gen McNair for Gen Bryden, DCofS WD, ai Oct 41, sub: Functions, Respon- 
sibilities and Authority of GHQ. 320.2/1 (S). 



GENERAL HEADQUARTERS, 1940-42 



149 



further the autonomy of the Air Forces by a revision of AR 95-5 as published 
in the previous June — a revision which, in the opinion of General McNair, 
Vi^ould have effected a "separation of the Air Force from the rest of the Army 
as complete as the Commanding General, Army Air Force, chooses to make 
it." In the first of a series of Air Force memoranda advocating reorganization 
of the War Department as against enlargement of the authority of GHQ, 
General Arnold's headquarters revived the proposals for reorganization put 
forth by WPD in August,^ In the second of these memoranda the Army Air 
Forces outlined its ov^^n plan. It v^^as in tv^^o parts. Part I proposed the reorgani- 
zation of the Zone of Interior into three commands — air, ground, and service. 
Part II recommended the creation of a "Military Policy Staff" representing 
the Army, the Navy, the State Department, and the Economic Defense Board, 
under a chief of staff. General Marshall declared himself to be "favorably 
impressed by the basic organization proposed," but Part II v^^as excluded from 
the further study now ordered. He directed WPD to develop Part I with a 
view to "determining its practicability and the extent to which it is an improve- 
ment over the present organization." It thus became the working basis for the 
reorganization put into effect on 9 March 1942. General Marshall's directive 
is dated 25 November 1941.^^ From that date forward there is no trace of a 
further attempt by the War Department to make GHQ workable for the 
purposes for which it had been designed in the Harbord Plan. 

Both the WPD plan sketched in August and the plan now proposed by the 
Army Air Forces had a common central feature." Both proposed the delegation 
of the operative functions of the War Department in the Zone of Interior to 

* Par I, memo of Gen McNair for the CofS USA, 10 Nov 41, sub: Proposed Revised Draft of AR 95-5. 
McNair Correspondence with the CofS USA. 

^ (i) Memo (S) of CofAAF for ACofS ^\T*D, 24 Oct 41, sub: Functions, Responsibilities and Authority 
of GHQ. AGO Records, WPD 4558 (S). (2) Memo (S) of CofAAF for CofS USA —Nov 41, sub: Rcorgn of 
the WD. AGO Records, WPD 4614 (S). (3) Memo of Chief of Air Staff for ACofS WPD, 14 Nov 41, sub: 
GHQ Directive. AGO Records, WPD 3209-10. 

(i) Notes for record with memo (S) WPD 4614 for CofS USA, 18 Nov 41, sub: Orgn of the Armed 
Forces for War. (2) Memo (S) OCS 21278-6 for ACofS WPD, 25 Nov 41, sub not given. Both in AGO 
Records, WPD 4614 (Orgn of Armd Forces for War) (S). 

" Reference to the Air Force plan will be found in footnote 21 (2), above. For the initial WPD study 
see memo (S) for CofS USA, — Aug 41, sub: Orgn of the Army High Comd. Copies in 320.2/1 (S) and 
AGO Records, WPD 4618 (S). The latter copy was probably erroneously rubber-stamped "Nov 1941/* perhaps 
when the reorganization project was revived. 



150 



ORGANIZATION OF GROUND COMBAT TROOPS 



three major commands, the Army Ground Forces, the Army Air Forces, and 
the Services of Supply. Both accepted the Army Air Forces as established by 
the terms of AR 95-5, 20 June 1941. Neither was clear as to where command 
or supervision of the four internal defense commands was to be lodged. Neither 
provided for an integration of the offices of the chiefs of branches, though 
they were subordinated in both plans to the Zone of Interior commands. In 
the WPD plian they were all placed under the commanding general of the 
Services of Supply. In the Air Force study the chiefs of Infantry, Cavalry, 
Field Artillery, and Coast Artillery were placed under the commanding general 
of the Army Ground Forces. Furthermore, the WPD study assigned to the 
Services of Supply not only West Point, the general and special service schools, 
and oflBcer candidate schools, but also the boards of the arms and services, 
civilian component training and administration, and air-raid precautions. All 
these agencies and functions were given a different distribution in the final 
reorganization. 

When interviewed at a later date Army Ground Force officers who were 
on the staff of GHQ during the winter of 1941-42 seemed to feel that the 
reorganization of 9 March 1942 was "sprung" by an inner circle of planners in 
the War Department. This impression probably related to certain phases of the 
reorganization, not to the plan in its entirety. 

The minutes of the daily GHQ staff conferences show that, at least until 
mid-October, the debate in the War Department regarding the status of GHQ 
was being reported to its staff. There is no indication that General McNair's 
conclusion, stated in his memoranda of 2 September and 21 October, that a 
reorganization of the War Department was probably desirable was not known 
to his immediate advisors at GHQ, including General Malony, if not to all 
members of the sta5. The record shows that on 5 February 1942 General McNair 
discussed the plan of reorganization with Maj. Gen. Joseph T. McNarney, who 
had been recalled from England to take charge of it. The criticisms which 
General McNair submitted in writing the next day raised no serious objections/* 
On 4 March he wrote: "The new organization seems entirely sound. The 
experiment of having GHQ operate — which has been underway since last July — 
was foredoomed to failure in my estimation, since the War Department could 

" Memo of Gen McNair for Gen McNarney, WPD WD, 6 Feb 42^ sub: Reorgn of the WD. 320.2/1168. 
On 16 January a draft initialled '*H[arrison]" had gone to the Plans Section, WPD, with a nonconcurrcnce 
of G-3 WD. 



GENERAL HEADQUARTERS, 194(M2 151 

not turn over its responsibilities in that connection. The alternative is what is 
now being done — the Services of Supply — just as in the A. E. F." 

It is clear, therefore, that the principles underlying the plan for reorgani- 
zation were known at GHQ from the first, and it can hardly be doubted that 
the staff was aware of the views of its chief. On the other hand, no evidence 
has been found to indicate that it was informed of the decision of General 
Marshall on 25 November to set up a committee to work on a specific plan. 
Certainly as late as 5 December General Malony still believed that there was a 
fighting chance for the enlargement of GHQ's operational authority. GHQ 
was not represented on the committee initially entrusted with formulating a 
plan of reorganization.^^ Only on 11 February was formal notice received at 
GHQ that the proposal to reorganize the War Department was under consid- 
eration and that an executive committee was to be created under the chairman- 
ship of General McNarney, GHQ was directed to select a repriesentative, and 
CoL James G. Christiansen was appointed."' At this date the contents of the 
plan were known at GHQ, for the minutes of the staff conference on 11 Febru- 
ary record the following comment of its G-3: "Proposed reorganization of WD 
still leaves burden on General Marshall." 

Given these circumstances, several reasons may be conjectured for the 
later impression that the plan of reorganization had been sprung suddenly on 
the group working at GHQ, The specific plan which was adopted and which 
apparently was worked out between 25 November 1941 and 11 February 1942 
without the knowledge of GHQ included a novel form of staff organization 
for Headquarters, Army Ground Forces, which that headquarters found 
unworkable and rejected on 12 July 1942. This pf obably contributed to a feel- 
ing that the plan of reorganization was excessively theoretical, and intensified 
the disfavor with which it was bound to be regarded by the group at GHQ 

'* Ltr of Gen McNair to Maj Gen E. F. McGlachlin, 4 Mar 42. McNair Correspondence. 

"The task was given to the Plans Group, WPD, on 25 November, and on 28 November Maj C. K. 
Gailey, the Executive of WPD, requested diat **one officer each be designated by the Cof AAF and the ACofS, 
G-i, G-3 and G-4 to collaborate with WPD (Lt Col W. K. Harrison)." Memo (S) WPD 4614 for the Sec 
WDGS, 28 Nov 41. AGO Records, WPD 4614 (S). Par 3 requested the assignment of Lt. Col. Scbree, G-i, 
Lt. CoL Shclton, G-3, and Lt. Col. Reichelderfer, G-4, "who arc already well acquainted with the subject.*' 

*^ (i) Memo (C) OCS 16600-82 for CofS GHQ, 11 Feb 42, sub not given. 020/1 (C). (2) GHQ memo 
(C) for Sec WDGS, signed Hyssong, 12 Feb 42, sub: Executive Committee WD Reorganization. AGO Records, 
WPD 4614 (S). 

=•111337 (S). 



152 



ORGANIZATION OF GROUND COMBAT TROOPS 



who had enthusiastically supported General Malony in his effort to make GHQ 
the driving force in the Army high command and through it to speed up and 
invigorate the executive action of the War Department as the United States 
moved into the dangers of open warfare.^* 

The reorganization adopted had three main features:^** (i) Top control 
of the field forces was kept in the War Department General Staff, and the 
Zone of Interior functions of the War Department were delegated to three 
great commands, the Army Ground Forces, the Army Air Forces, and the 
Services of Supply— an organization designed to "follow functional (task) 
lines." ^ (2) The arms and services were subordinated to these commands. 
The technical services, together with the two combat services, the Engineers 
and the Signal Corps, were assigned to the Services of Supply, The arms and 
the new quasi arms were assigned to the Army Ground Forces, The services 
remained in being as organized, but their chiefs were subjected to the authority 
of the commanding general of the Services of Supply. In the case of the arms 
a different principle was followed. The chiefs of the four traditional arms 
disappeared. Their authority was vested in the commanding general of the 
Army Ground Forces, and their agencies were reassorted and integrated with 
the other agencies of that command. On the other hand, those of the newly 
developed combat arms. Armored, Tank Destroyer, and Antiaircraft Artillery 
(separated from the Coast Artillery), remained or became distinct commands, 
under the commanding general of the Army Ground Forces. (3) GHQ was 
liquidated, and all theaters of operations and the four defense commands of 
the continental United States were placed directly under the War Department 
General Staff. WPD, shortly to be known as OPD (Operations Division), took 
up the planning and operational functions which had been exercised since 
July 1941 by the staff of GHQ. 

By these changes the War Department sought to relieve the General Staff 
and its Chief of operative and detailed administrative duties in order to set them 
free to devote themselves to planning and over-all supervision.^^ This purpose 

"On 25 February General Malony was relieved and assigned to the Munitions Assignment Board. 
WD Itr AG 210.31 (2-24-42) OD-A to CG GHQ, 25 Feb 42, sub: Orders. AGO Records. 
"Cir 59, WD, a Mar 42. 

" The phrase used in par 2, sec I, WPD memo (S) for CofS USA, — Aug 41, sub: Orgn of the Army 
High Comd. 320.2/1 (S). 

Statement of Secretary of War Stimson to the press, as reported by the New Yor\ Times, 5 Mar 42. 
Sec also the statement of General McNarney before die Senate Committee on Military Affairs, 6 Mar 42. 
Hearing on S. 2092, 77th Congress, Second Session. 



GENERAL HEADQUARTERS, 194(M2 



r53 



had also been one of the main objectives of GHQ, but had not been fully realized 
largely because the powers delegated were insuflBcient and the current inter- 
national situation made it impossible to carry out the original plan of the 
Harbord Board. 

Summary 

In this reorganization of the War Department the Army Air Forces, 
according to the evidence available, took the lead and supplied the drive. Its 
motives were clearly stated in its memoranda on the subject. The authority of 
GHQ, as constituted on 3 July 1941, overlapped the position which the Air 
Forces had gained as an autonomous entity on 20 June i94i»^^ The proposed 
enlargement of the powers of GHQ would have limited this independence 
even further. Such a development did not coincide with the ideas current in 
the Army Air Forces, which aspired to still greater freedom of action in the 
belief that the effective prosecution of modern warfare required a fully 
autonomous air arm." The Chief of the Army Air Forces sought to protect 
and regularize the new position of the Air Forces by a reorganization which 
would give the Ground Forces and the Services of Supply a similar autonomy. 
This objective was in general attained, though the simultaneous proposal to 
institute a command transcending that of the War Department was not carried 
out. 

Though the Army Air Forces played a prominent role in the reorganization, 
many other factors and considerations contributed to bringing about the admin- 
istrative changes in the War Department effected in March 1942, In the circum- 
stances imposed by the course of events, a GHQ on the lines of the Harbord 
Plan was subject to grave disadvantages. These became evident to General 
McNair, as well as to other observers, as soon as the attempt was made to 
administer such a headquarters or develop plans for its future. War had come 
upon the United States in an unanticipated form, and the conclusion was 

" (i) The functioning of GHQ as now contemplated "is restrictive of the responsibilities charged to 
the Army Air Forces with respect to planning for air operations pertaining to theaters of operations and task 
forces." Par 5/memo (S) of CofAAF for the CofS USA, 24 Oct 41, sub: Functions, Responsibilities and 
Authority of GHQ. AGO Records, WPD 4558 (S). (2) "An air theater of operation should be recog- 
nized. Under the present conception, such a theater is controlled by GHQ." Conflict "could be avoided 
only by superimposing the GHQ over the War Department.'* Pars 9 a and b, AGO Records, WPD 4558 (S). 

Sec the essay on the "priceless attributes of air power," par a, memo (S) of CofAAF for CofS USA, 
— Nov 41, sub: Reorgn of the WD. AGO Records, WPD 4614 (S). 



154 



ORGANIZATION OF GROUND COMBAT TROOPS 



reached that it had to be waged with new administrative as well as with new 
technical and tactical weapons. 

Furthermore, new developments like armor and tank destroyers were 
cutting across the pattern on which the traditional arms were organized. These 
changes, implying refinements of specialization and new tactical combinations, 
brought to a head the old question of the arms and services and their relation 
to the General Staff, Though the chiefs of the arms and services were less 
independent than formerly, their actual relation to the General Staff made 
diflScult the close command and staff planning as well as the coordination and 
training necessary to produce flexible and hard-hitting teams of the combined 
arms. The old pattern of tactical organization had to be adapted to the new 
type of warfare. Moreover, the existing combat arms had developed, together 
with a desirable branch loyalty, an aggressive and somewhat jealous branch 
spirit, which the new quasi arms tended to emulate. The proposed reorganization 
of the War Department offered a means of bringing the arms and services 
under firmer control. 

Given these circumstances, the type of reorganization first put forward in 
the WPD memorandum of August made a strong appeal. General McNair 
favored, and the Air Forces pressed for, reorganization. The final plan, which 
delegated the complex Zone of Interior responsibilities of the War Depart- 
ment to three subordinate commands, offered the War Department General 
Staff an opportunity to perform its over-all planning and directive duties with 
greater efficiency. It effected, under these three major commands, a coordina- 
tion of the services and an integration of the arms in better accord with their 
future use in combined operations. 

In the reorganization as announced no explicit provision was made for 
centralized control of operations in widely scattered theaters, specifically, for 
"an executive g^oup" within the War Department which "would in reaUty be 
a command section." The absorption of the operational element of GHQ into 
the War Department as a means of meeting this need had been rejected, and 
the officers composing that element in GHQ were not utilized to form a new 
group in the War Department, But a new group was formed in WPD, which, 
under its later title of Operations Division, became, in effect, the command 
post of General Marshall in Washington. GHQ, in its executive activities, had 
forecast and confirmed the need for such an agency, but was not made that 
agency. It is evident from the foregoing study that the motives and circum- 



GENERAL HEADQUARTERS, 1940-42 



stances that led to its rejection were complex. They included organizational 
and personal interests and rivalries which inevitably attend the development 
of a new and forceful institution. The mere physical location of GHQ apart 
from the rest of the War Department, and the fact that at the moment there 
was no room in the old Munitions Building for another agency, perhaps played 
a part* Connected with this factor, and probably more important in determining 
the view taken of GHQ as a command post, was the fact that, as such, it was 
encased in the old conception, inherent in the plan of mobilization projected 
in 1921, that GHQ was destined to go overseas as the headquarters of the field 
forces — a conception that had prompdy been antiquated by the circumstances 
of the oncdming emergency in i94i, GHQ had at least served a useful purpose 
in demonstrating the necessity of substituting for this concept that of a single 
agency in Washington qualified to achieve "prompt decisions and expeditious 
action." 

General Headquarters, United States Army, closed sine die, and Head- 
quarters, Army Ground Forces, opened at the Army War College on 9 March 
1942. Although GHQ had not completely fulfilled the purpose for which it 
had been intended originally, it had been conspicuously efficient in making and 
implementing theater plans. It had from the outset performed with notable 
success the mission of training with which it had been entrusted initially. This, 
in general, was the view taken by representatives of the War Department in 
the discussion of its fate during the fall of 1941.^'' GHQ had become more than 
ever the command agency which directed the training and shaped the organi- 
zation of the ground army for combat.^^ These were to be the two principal 
missions of the new command with which General McNair was now entrusted. 

" Only two exceptions to this estimate of GHQ arc recorded: (i) Brig. Gen. Wade H. Haislip, G-i WD, 
believed that the interposition of GHQ between the Chief of Staff and corps area had broken "down the 
mobilization machinery of the Army. It serves no useful purpose, except to give GHQ a job," Par 2 a (i)> 
memo (S) G-i/ 16338-8 for ACofS WPD, 15 Sep 41, sub: Functions, Responsibilities and Authority of GHQ. 
AGO Records, WPD 4558 (S), (2) Gen. Sherman Miles, C-2, WD, expressed his concern regarding the 
"general state of intelligence training of all echelons." He thought improvement of such training was a War 
Department function and that the training function of GHQ should be withdrawn. Memo of Gen Miles (S) 
for ACofS WPD, 12 Nov 41, sub: GHQ Dir. AGO Records, WPD 3209-10 (S). The comment of WPD, 
22 Nov 41, was that GHQ's "training responsibilities - . , have been exercised satisfactorily since activation 
of that headquarters." 

^ In August 1 941 WPD observed: 'The duties and responsibilities of GHQ have not been clearly defined. 
GHQ is developing however as a Commander of Army Ground Forces/* Par 9, sec I, WPD memo (S) for 
CofS, — Aug 41, sub: Functions and Authority of GHQ, Ind to GHQ memo (S) of Gen McNair for DCofS 
GHQ, II Aug 41, sub as above. 320.2/4 (S). 



Roster of 
General Staff and Special Staff , 
GHQ, 1941-42 



General Stajf 



CHIEF OF STAFF 

Brig Gen Lesley J. McNair 
DEPUTY CHIEF OF STAFF 

Brig Gen Harry J. Malony 

Brig Gen Mark W. Qark 
SECRETARY GENERAL STAFF 

Lt Col Floyd L. Parks 
ASSISTANT CHIEF OF STAFF 
G-1 

Lt Col Gordon dcL. Carrington 
Col Alexander R. Boiling 
ASSISTANT CHIEF OF STAFF 
G-2 

Lt Col Paul McD. Robinctt 
ASSISTANT CHIEF OF STAFF 
G-3 

Lt Col Mark W. Clark 
Lt Col George P. Hays 
ASSISTANT CHIEF OF STAFF 
G-4 

Lt Col Ernest N. Harmon 
Lt Col Willard S. Paul 
ASSISTANT CHIEF OF STAFF 
G-5 

Lt Col Lloyd D. Brown 
♦Deceased. 



Dm of Asimt Rank (^Aug 45) 

26 Jul 40 LtGcn* 

I8Jun 41 Maj Gen 

9 Dec 41 General 

15 Jul 41 Maj Gen 

18Jun41 Brig Gen* 

14 Feb 42 Maj Gen 



26jun 41 Brig Gen 



18 Jun 41 General 
9 Dec 41 Maj Gen 



18 Jun 41 Maj Gen 
3 Dec 41 Maj Gen 



9 Dec 41 Colonel 



GENERAL HEADQUARTERS, 1940-42 



Special Stajf 

Dati of Asffo* Rank 45^ 



ADJUTANT GENERAL 



Lt Col Clyde L. Hyssong 


ISJun 


41 


Maj Gen 


ANTIAIRCRAFT SECTION 








Lt Col Morris C, Handwcrk 


ISjun 


41 


Brig Gen 


Lt Col Charles S. Harris 


ljul 


41 


Brig Gen 


AVIATION SECTION 








Col William E. Lynd 


ISJun 


41 


Maj Gen 


Col Ralph H. Wootcn 


18 Sep 


41 


Maj Gen 


Brig Gen Clinton W. Russell 


2 Feb 


42 


Brig Gen* 


ENGINEER SECTION 








Maj James G. Christiansen 


ISJun 


41 


Maj Gen 


Col William F. Tompkins 


14 Jul 


41 


Maj Gen 


FINANCE SECTION 








Lt Col Donald T. Nelson 


28 Jul 


41 


Colonel 


MEDICAL SECTION 








Lt Col Charles B. Spruit 


ISJun 


41 


Brig Gen 


Lt Col Frederick A* Blessc 


26Jun 


41 


Brig Gen 


QUARTERMASTER SECTION 








Lt Col Farragut F. Hall 


ISJun 


41 


Colonel 


Lt Col Roy C. L. Graham 


26Jun 


41 


Brig Gen 


SIGNAL SECTION 








Lt Col Richard B. Moran 


IBJun 


41 


Brig Gen 


CIVILIAN COMPONENT 








Col Kenneth Buchanan 


ISJun 


41 


Colonel 


HEADQUARTERS COMMANDANT 








Lt Col Ernest A. Williams 


24jun 


41 


Colonel 


Lt Col Thomas F. Bresnahan 


18 Aug 


41 


Brig Gen 


JUDGE ADVOCATE GENERAL 








Col Allen M. Burdett 


5 Jul 


41 


Colonel 


CHEMICAL SECTION 








Lt Col Robert W. Daniels (Actg) 


12 Aug 


41 


Colonel 


INSPECTOR GENERAL 








Col Allen M. Burdett (Actg) 


12 Aug 


41 


Colonel 


Lt Col Elliott D. Cooke 


13 Oct 


41 


Brig Gen 


ORDNANCE SECTION 








Lt Col Robert W. Daniels 


13 Dec 


41 


Colonel 


PROVOST MARSHAL 








Maj William H, Maglin 


7 Jan 


42 


Colonel 



Ground Forces in the Army 
December 1941-April 1945 
A Statistical Study 



by 



Robert R. Palmer 



Contents 



Faff 

I. NOTE ON THE COMPILATION OF THE TABLE 163 

II. ANALYSIS OF THE TABLE 172 

III. SOURCES OF THE TABLE 182 

Table 

Ground Forces in the Army, December 1941-April 1945 161 



Ommd Fmm ht iheAm^ t^^si^r Ti^J-Aprii 1^$ 



EMidinof OV^VQGS.., . ..r,d...,d 

WPG$^^ -ir -ip.- 

<AcEifc cHn thh ^o-k)--^---- ..^.v^., 

EhuuIc of G-^H VDGS I.** i ^< . ' 

attmmmmiKkms of AiGfe. . . ^ ^ . . m n mm t4 ' * 'H*-** i 

Gatt^M citf AGF on above — , 

R(i:o(nn?f PidRdCtB* of WDGS 

CovjjiEtfKcoriniitndMSoq of AGF 

T FlOQ? BASIS AFPJt O V BY ^JUl BEPARThSWT 
A m^aifcd^i -of L?4^ Troop BauB: 

tlcCPtffffltfMatiQflJ oJ ASF. ■■ ■■,^p^^^„^.„„,r.^,^^, 
(ActTT4 -Ofii cMf dHIC)-- 4-4- ■ -fi I -■ <^;vp>!M<'^ ■ « H>^>iVr ■ i» 4 ■ ■ ■ 
AcHMlllKfldiMlOU Oi A^H 



t , 
i 


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j j Mig '42- 










f 






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li 




14 




If 


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16 




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iP"w-. 


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23 


IS 


24 


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l4 Apr 


27 


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29 


U Jan 


30 




%\ 


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331 


1 Jni 




Tnl 


34 


1,7 




22 Sep 




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M 












111 I 


2b Oct 


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IlHsiitiu&ditlolu d A<3F« 



lAoiboxfaAd: far Wir Dwcdidl, i t « d ^ < . . 

Reco^^LiueAdjiioca af ACFl . , 

£(cnirijn^DdkdQEi£ uf AGF. , . > 

RcKOPiET^CPdn-tLpiaif Hjf Qiflmitaltcc £rCL RtlfMSiCtU. of cfa-fi 

RjHfacEunewiiiiaDi Afjf .«..ni. + .44i + i%»F4~i + 4if'i 
■^g ui j JIIIi W ^ alAiGf wafa^ 

CmfM iiii iMi , .i . 

rflOOP BASIS A IMPROVED BY WAR OKPAHTMENT 

Au LhnTLzcd ^ DL^Dtltoi^ . l . l .......... l .... . 

Set vu hy aGv t.^ "iddi nt^T 1^ !^ ^(^^^"^ 

Ri:CDeDn]i:a,d«d by AGF n . r . . 

TROOP BASIS APPROVED WAR DEPARTMENT 
COMAUE of AGF Ob abova 



R^coffldKadilloDs of AG^.^.^^.^r.^i 
TffiEidTB Tjt»p Bj^I^ dralccd br WD. 

Oc^EamtQts of AGF abovt 

Tn»f Ba&La ruJnftcJ bp WD 

(Afflv* atk this Hiil«>+ - + 



UNITS 



(A£dTG oa tlih dHLLl 



TROOP AFPRovro WIT WAK tm^KmmT 

RecdffliQCDdtd by AGF 

< Active OEi cbi» daE«) 



1^* 

ill 



m 

111 



<S9 
fit 



pirn 



H9 



IS 



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7 








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sp 




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a 










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14 


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to 


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1 


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71 




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L Note on the Compilation 
of the Table 



The table "Ground Forces in the Army" is a statistical presentation of the 
planning and mobilization of the Array, with emphasis on combatant groimd 
forces/ Its aim is to show the distribution of forces within a total figure accepted 
as the ukimate strength of the Army in World War II. When the table was 
compiled the figures for i May 1945 were not available, but their inclusion was 
not regarded as necessary for the purpose of showing the scale and apportion- 
ment of strength allotted to ground forces in the mobilization of the Army. 

The table was derived from successive issues of the War Department Troop 
Basis and from documents of the War Department General Staff and of Head- 
quarters, Army Ground Forces, containing plans for and comments on the 
Troop Basis. The sources of the figures on each line of the table are given in 
Section III below. 

The Troop Basis was issued at intervals by the War Department for 
general planning purposes. Its preparation and continuing revision were respon- 
sibilities of G-3, War Department General Staff, acting with advice from other 
agencies of the War Department and from the three major commands. The 
headquarters of the Army Ground Forces participated actively in discussions 
of the Troop Basis until the fall of 1943. After that date, as the overseas theaters 
were increasingly built up and as strategic plans for the employment of ground 
forces took more definite shape, the main influence in determining the AGF 
section of the Troop Basis passed to the Operations Division, War Department 
General Staff. Through the Operations Division the desires of theater com- 
manders were mediated to the War Department. 

The Troop Basis, while it changed considerably in form and content during 
the war, always served essentially the same purpose. It was primarily an outline 



^ The tabic is designed to serve as a statistical basis for the following studies in this volume: "Mobilization 
of the Ground Army"; "Reor^anizarion of Ground Troops for Combat"; and "Organization and Training 
of New Ground Combat Elements." 



164 



ORGANIZATION OF GROUND COMBAT TROOPS 



of the kind of army authorized to exist. First, it stated the number of units of 
each type authorized to exist by a specified date in the future. This number was 
determined by anticipation of general war strategy and operational needs and 
by estimate of the manpower and equipment available and of the length of 
time necessary for training. Second, the Troop Basis also stated the number of 
units of each type already authorized to exist, that is, units already activated or 
mobilized. ("Active," "activated," "mobilized," and "already authorized to 
exist" have substantially the same meaning in the present tabic and its accom- 
panying interpretation.) As the Troop Basis developed in form, it stated the 
number of units already mobilized on the day before the date of the Troop 
Basis. For example, the Troop Basis of i July 1943 stated the number of units, 
with Table of Organization strength, both as projected for 31 December 1943 
and as already mobilized on 30 June 1943, The difference, for each type of unit, 
between the number of units already mobilized and the number authorized to 
exist by the future date to which the Troop Basis was projected, indicated the 
number of units of that type to be activated (or inactivated) during the period 
for which the Troop Basis of a given date was drawn up. The Troop Basis thus 
constituted the program of mobilization. At first it was essentially a program 
for the expansion of the Army. After the Army attained its contemplated 
strength (at the beginning of 1944) the Troop Basis was still the program of 
mobilization in the sense that it indicated readjustments to be made within a 
fixed total, stating what new units should be activated and what old units 
inactivated, without further enlargement of the Army, to meet current views 
as to changing operational needs. 

The Troop Basis was thus a general budget of military manpower, indi- 
cating the needs of the Army for which manpower was required, and accounting 
for men in the Army, or due to be received by the Army, by showing the units 
and establishments to which men were allotted. The Troop Basis was not 
intended to be a perfect instrument of personnel accounting. It was not based 
on actual strengths, that is, on a counting of bodies. It was based on Tables of 
Organization for tactical units and on bulk allotments made by the War Depart- 
ment for nontactical organizations. Actual strengths varied considerably from 
the strength shown as mobilized in the Troop Basis. For example, divisions 
were understrength at the end of 1942, not having attained in actual bodies 
the strength of 1,056,000 enlisted men indicated in the Troop Basis as mobilized 
on that date. The Army was consistently overstrength after April 1944, reaching 
an actual strength (including commissioned and warrant officer personnel) 



GROUND FORCES IN THE ARMY: A STATISTICAL STUDY 



165 



reported as 8,157,386 for 31 March 1945, more than 300,000 in excess of the 
Troop Basis figure for mobilized strength on that date. The War Department 
therefore had to devise other methods of personnel accounting. These may be 
traced in the weekly Minutes of the General Council for 1944. 

In its primary function, as an outline of the kind of army authorized to 
exist, the Troop Basis gave an accurate picture. For example, while one can 
obtain no actual strengths from the Troop Basis, one may accept at face value 
the indication of the Troop Basis of 24 November 1942 that on that date 100 
divisions were authorized for mobilization by the end of 1943, or the indication 
in the Troop Basis of i April 1945 that 89 divisions were mobilized on 31 
March 1945 and that their Table of Organization enlisted strength was 1,124,738. 
It is only in this connection, in which the Troop Basis gives a true picture, that 
it is used in the present table. 

In form the Troop Basis went through a succession of changes, becoming 
with each change more elaborate and detailed. In 1942 it was issued in type- 
script at irregular intervals in a few copies only. By late 1944 it was compiled 
by machine-records methods, issued monthly, and circulated in some 200 copies. 
These changes are without importance for the present table. Until the last 
months of 1943 the Troop Basis gave detailed listing only for tactical units, 
showing merely rough figures for overhead, replacements, nonavailables, and 
other categories; and it listed tactical units of the Ground and Service Forces 
only, showing a bulk allotment for the Army Air Forces. After the end of 1943 
Army Air Forces was listed in the same manner as Army Ground Forces and 
Army Service Forces, and overhead and related requirements were shown with 
increasing detail. These changes likewise are without significance for the 
present table, since the table gives only bulk figures for Army Air Forces and 
for overhead, etc. 

Other changes in the form and content of the Troop Basis have raised 
problems in the preparation of the table. Until the end of 1943 the Troop Basis 
showed enlisted strengths only. Thereafter enlisted, warrant officer, nurse, offi- 
cer, and aggregate strengths were given in separate columns. Since for purposes 
of the present table the figures for earlier and later dates must be comparable, 
and since only enlisted strengths are available for the earlier period, the table 
is limited to enlisted strengths throughout. 

A major aim of the table is to classify the total strength of the Army, as 
planned and as mobilized at different dates, into combat and service troops, 
and to classify service troops into those employed in close conjunction with 



i66 



ORGANIZATION OF GROUND COMBAT TROOPS 



combat troops and those employed in rear-area support. At first the Troop 
Basis carried no indication of these classifications. By October 1944 it indicated 
them all. But for all dates prior to October 1944, and hence for the entire 
formative period of the Army, computation has been necessary, using Troop 
Basis figures as raw material, to obtain the figures desired for the present table 
on classification as between combat and service units. 

Service units in 1942 were not distinguished as pertaining to the Army 
Service Forces (then Services of Supply) or to the Army Ground Forces. No 
such distinction was therefore drawn in the Troop Basis in 1942. In the months 
beginning with October 1942 all service units (except those of the Air Forces) 
were divided between the Army Service Forces and the Army Ground Forces 
for activation and training. Service units intended for close support of combat 
troops, that is, for inclusion in field armies and employment in the combat 
zone, were designated as pertaining to the Army Ground Forces. Service units 
intended for less direct support of combat troops, that is, for employment in 
the communications zone, were designated as pertaining to the Army Service 
Forces, The Troop Basis of i July 1943, and all succeeding Troop Bases, grouped 
the two types of service units separately. Henceforth the Army Ground Forces 
section of the Troop Basis included units of both combat and service types, and 
the Army Service Forces section of the Troop Basis (which included no combat 
units) included only those service units designated as of ASF type. 

Figures in the table for ASF service units, for dates beginning with 30 
June 1943, are therefore copied directly from pertinent Troop Bases without 
modification. Figures for ASF service units before 30 June 1943 (specifically 
for 24 November 1942 and 30 December 1942) have been obtained by extract- 
ing from the undifferentiated lists of service units in pertinent Troop Bases 
those service units designated as ASF in the Troop Basis of i July 1943. 

Figures in the table for AGF service units, for dates beginning with 30 
June 1943, cannot be copied from pertinent Troop Bases without modification, 
as can figures for ASF service units, because AGF service units, as listed in the 
Troop Basis, included some units of combat type. Figures in the table for AGF 
service units, for dates beginning with 30 June 1943, represent the total strength 
in units of service branches (chemical, engineer, medical, military police, mis- 
cellaneous, ordnance, quartermaster, and signal) allotted to the Army Ground 
Forces in the Troop Basis, but modified by deduction of strength in certain 
units (chemical, engineer, signal) considered by the War Department to be 



GROUND FORCES IN THE ARMY: A STATISTrCAL STUDY 



167 



<Col. 23 of the tabic) 



of combat type, according to definitions noted in the following paragraph* 
Figures for AGF service units for 24 November 1942 and 30 December 1942 
represent what is left from the undifferentiated list of service units in pertinent 
Troop Bases after removal of both combat units and ASF units. 

The Troop Basis did not identify combat units as such until October 1944, 
but the War Department laid down a definition of combat units for statistical 
purposes in Circular No, 422, 29 December 1942. This circular, as amended by 
Circular No. 66, 5 March 1943, has been followed in the preparation of the 
table. Combat units are defined as follows: 

All elements of divisions (Col. 22 of the table) 

All units designated as: 

Corps and Army headquarters 

Infantry, cavalry, field artillery, coast artillery . . . 
Armored, tank destroyer, amphibious, airborne .... 
Chemical, motorized (mortar); engineers, combat, ponton, 
trcadway bridge; signal, construction, operations, photo, 

pigeon, radio intelligence , 

All antiaircraft units (Col. 25 of the table) 

The totals in column 23 have been obtained by adding the figures given in the 
Troop Basis for (nondivisional) headquarters, armored, cavalry, coast artillery, 
field artillery, infantry, and tank destroyer units, and such amounts of chem- 
ical, engineer, and signal units as are appropriate after combat units of these 
branches are deducted from the totals for AGF units of these branches given 
in the Troop Basis. 

Definition of combat units, when introduced into the Troop Basis on i 
October 1944, followed a new circular, No. 356, WD, 2 September 1944, which 
in turn followed closely, with some elaboration, the definitions laid down in 
Circular No. 422, 1942. Since the definitions of Septemba- 1944 were made 
after most of the calculations for the present table had been completed, since they 
varied from earlier definitions in only a minor way, and since there was no 
assurance that the definitions of 1944 would have more permanent significance 
than those of 1942, no attempt has been made to recast the present table to 



i68 



ORGANIZATION OF GROUND COMBAT TROOPS 



conform to the distinctions introduced into the Troop Basis in October 1944. 
And since later and earlier figures in the table must be comparable, referring 
at all dates to the same thing, the strength of combat and service units has been 
computed in the table, for dates subsequent to October 1944, in the same 
manner as for prior dates, no use being made of the indications as to category 
given in Troop Bases beginning with October 1944. 

The present table virould not be greatly different if the categories introduced 
in October 1944 had been used in its preparation, or if they had been available 
as far back as 1942. Seven categories, called "missions," were introduced in the 
Troop Basis of i October 1944. Only four of these applied to tactical units, the 
other three applying to replacements and overhead. The four applying to 
tactical units were substantially equivalent to the categories set up in the present 
table. Not cdunting the Air Forces, the seven categories of missions and their 
equivalents were as follows: 



Troop Basis Biiinninil Oct 44 
(Circular 356, WD, 
2 Sep 44) 



Present Table 
(Circular 422, WD, 
19 Dec 42, as Amended) 



Total Combat Units 



1. Combat 

2. Combat Support . . . 

3. Combat Service Support . . AGF Service Units 

4. Service Support ASF Service Units 



5. Training » , 

6. Overhead . . 

7. Miscellaneous 



Remainder: Overhead, Re- 
^ placements, Nonavail- 
ables, etc 



Col. 26 

Col. 27 
Col. 29 

:ol. 33 



"Combat Support" referred mainly to certain engineer and signal imits, con- 
sidered as combat imits in the present table; but it included also a few other 
units of the AGF services and all military police of AGF type, considered as 
service units in the present table. It likewise included a small percentage of 
ASF units. Hence when imits whose mission was defined as "Combat" or as 
"Combat Support" by the War Department in September 1944 are added to- 
gether, the total is somewhat larger than the total for combat units in the present 
table. Figures for mobilized enlisted strength for 30 March 1945, so arranged 
as to show the equivalence between the two systems of definition, are as follows: 



GROUND FORCES IN THE ARMY: A STATISTICAL STUDY 



169 



Mobilized Enlisted Strength of Army, 
3/ March ig4$ 



Excluding Air Forces: 

1. Combat (AGF) 1.849,580 

2. Combat Support (AGF) .... 225,464 
Combat Support (ASF) .... 25,372 

TOTAL 2,100,416 2,041,000 Total Combat Units 

(Col. 26) 

3. Combat Service Support (AGF) . 421,387 
Combat Service Support (ASF) . 25,801 

TOTAL 447,188 461,000 AGF Service Units 

(Col. 27) 

4. Service Support (AGF) .... 5,717 
Service Support (ASF) 1,044,258 

TOTAL 1,049,975 1,097,000 ASF Service Units 

(Col. 29) 

5. Training 575,023 

6. Overhead 533,462 

7. Miscellaneous 316,436 

TOTAL 1,424,921 1,422,000 Overhead, Replacements, 

Nonavailables, etc. (Col. 33) 

Army Air Forces 1,943.645 l,945.000Army Air Forces (Col. 32) 

TOTAL ARMY 6,966,145 6,966,000 Total Army (CoL 34) 



170 



ORGANIZATION OF GROUND COMBAT TROOPS 



Aggregate strength of the entire Army was distributed on 31 March 1945, 
as shown by the Troop Basis of i April 1945, as follows: 



Mobilized Aggregate Strength of Army, by Mission, 
37 March ig4$ 



Mission 




AiZV 






Total 




j/0,OCaJ 


1,^00, jUU 






1 160 








ZD, ojy 










430jlo3 










305,721 


5,994 


1 1 AQ "TOT 






Training 


327,191 


342,300 


47,560 


211,074 


928,125 


Overhead 


737,261 


130,948 


376,665 


190,272 


1,435,146 






1 1 1CA 
11,250 


iO,!>UU 


no ATI 




TOTAL 


. 2,290,573 


3,147,837 


1,644,141 


730,768 


7,813,319 


Or in percentages: 












h/iission 


AAB 


AG¥ 


ASF 


Misc, 


Total 




16.4 


62.5 






30.0 


Q>mbat Support 


15.0 


7.6 


1.6 




7.8 


Combat Sv Support .... 


8.7 


14.3 


1.7 




8.7 


Service Support 


13.4 


.2 


69.9 




18.7 


Training 


14.3 


10.9 


2.9 


28.9 


11.9 


Overhead 


32.2 


4.1 


22.9 


26.0 


18.4 


Miscellaneous 




.4 


LO 


45.1 


4.5 


TOTAL 


100.0 


100.0 


100.0 


100.0 


100.0 



Actual strength of the Army was reported to be 8,157,386 ofl&ccrs and men on 
31 March 1945, about 4 percent in excess of Troop Basis strength. Most of the 
overstrength was in overhead and in replacements (classified under "Training" 
above). Percentage of the strength of units — combat, combat support, combat 
service support, and service support— would thus be somewhat less than 
indicated above if computed on the basis of actual strength. 

Under "Action," at the left of the table, are listed in chronological order 
successive estimates, recommendations, and comments with respect to the Troop 



GROUND FORCES IN THE ARMY: A STATISTICAL STUDY 



171 



Basis, together with successive versions of the Troop Basis itself as authorized 
by the War Department. The whole reveals the views of Headquarters, Army 
Ground Forces, and of the War Department General Staff on mobilization. 
Reading a given line horizontally shows how the "Action" of that date (esti- 
mate, reco-^imiendation, comment, or authorized Troop Basis) proposed to 
distribute total strength of the Army among various elements, such as types of 
divisions and nondivisional units, combat and service units, air and ground 
forces, etc. Reading a given column vertically shows successive views as to 
requirements for forces of the specified type. For these, estimates and recom- 
mendations figures are given where possible; where figures cannot be given, 
it is indicated whether the Army Ground Forces desired to raise or to reduce 
the strength of certain types of forces. 

Figures in the table, if neither underlined nor enclosed in parentheses, 
represent figures used in discussions, estimates, and recommendations. 

Underlined figures represent figures ofl&cially accepted and promulgated 
by the War Department as mobilization objectives. 

Figures in parentheses, occurring at 6-month intervals, refer not to antici- 
pated strengths (as do all other figures) but to the number of units active and 
the Table of Organization strength of active units on the dates concerned. 
Comparison of figures in parentheses with appropriate underlined figures will 
show the amount of further activation (or in some cases inactivation) made 
necessary by Troop Basis planning. Since no actual strengths are given, the 
table offers no information on overstrengths and shortages. 



II. Analysis of the Table 



Entire tabic. i. Between the planning of 1942 to the close of organ- 

ized hostilities in Europe in 1945 an army of 89 divisions 
and supporting units was finally made available for 
combat. 

Cols. 1, 2, 3. 2. The planned number of divisions almost continu- 

ally fell; the actual number was reduced by one in 
1944. 

Cols, 26, 30, 33, 34. 3. Not as many divisions and nondivisional combat 

units were formed as were originally planned, partly be- 
cause over-all strength of the Army became fixed at a lower 
figure than had been expected, partly because requirements 
for service troops and overhead functions proved to be 
larger- than had been foreseen. 

Col. 26: 4. Downward revision of planned strength of combat 

lines 14, 16, 28, 32. ground forces occurred especially on two occasions, in 
October 1942 and in June 1943. 

Cols. 3, 22, 26, 32: 5. In October 1942, with the fixing of the Army ceiling 
lines 10, 16. at 7,500,000 enlisted men, the planned strength of combat 

ground forces, as projected by the War Department in the 
preceding August, was revised downward by about 14 
divisions and by about 300,000 enlisted men, while planned 
strength of Air Forces was raised by 200,000, 



GROUND FORCES IN THE ARMY: A STATISTICAL STUDY 



Cols. 3, 22, 26, 32: 6, In June 1943, when the Army ceiling was lowered 
lines 16, 32. by 529,000 (from 7,533,000 to 7,004,000 enlisted men) the 

strength of combat ground forces planned for 1943 was 

revised downward by another 12 divisions (readjusted to 
Col. 32. 10) and by another 337,000 enlisted men. Allotment for Air 

Col. 33. Forces was revised downward by 50,000 at this time. 

Allotment for overhead, etc., was revised downward by 
Cols. 30, 27. 249,000. Allotment for service units was raised by 109,000, 

of which only 2,000 was for service units of AGF types. 

Col. 2: 7. Attempts to restore in 1944 the cuts made in combat 

lines 41-45. ground forces for 1943 did not succeed, in large measure 

because the reduction in allotment for overhead, etc., was 
not maintained, and because requirements for service units, 
of both AGF and ASF types, continued to mount. 

Col. 2: 8. In particular, the attempt of the War Department at 

lines 41-45. the end of 1943 to add 15 divisions to the Troop Basis, 

making a total of 105 divisions, was abandoned because of 
mounting requirements for service units and overhead, 
noted above, and because proposals to cut the allotment for 
Col. 32: Air Forces to 1,838,000 did not take effect. (The Air Forces 

lines 41-45. were at this time developing the long-range bomber, B-29, 

program.) 

9. In net result, therefore, on the two occasions when 
reduction in total planned strength of the Army was neces- 
sary, in October 1942 and in June 1943, it was accomplished 
mainly by reduction in planned strength of combat ground 
forces. 

10. Not only were the cuts in combat ground forces 
made in October 1942 and June 1943 not restored, but also 
further cuts in allotment of manpower to combat ground 
forces were made after i July 1943. These cuts amounted 
to 433,000 by 31 March 1945. That is, the Table of Organi- 
zation strength of ground combat units in existence on 31 

Col. 26: March 1945 was 433,000 less than that allotted to ground 

lines 32, 57. combat units on i July 1943. 



174 ORGANIZATION OF GROUND COMBAT TROOPS 

II. In sum, with the reductions of October 1942 and 
June 1943, and with subsequent downward revisions, com- 
Col. 26: bat ground forces in March 1945 had about 1,000,000 fewer 

lines 10, 57. enlisted men than the War Department had hoped in 

August 1942 to attain by the end of 1943. 

Col. 32: 12, Air Forces by 31 March 1945 had 255,000 fewer 

lines 16, 57. enlisted men than were allotted in November 1942, but this 

reduction is in part deceptive, because the percentage of 
enlisted men eventually commissioned, and hence not 
shown in this table, was far higher in the Air Forces than in 
other elements of the Army. In March 1945 enlisted men 
comprised 93.7 percent of Ground Forces but only 84.9 
percent of Air Forces. 

Col. 26: 13. In consequence of decrease in projected strength 

lines 19, 57. by 1,000,000, the strength of ground combat units already 

in existence at the end of 1942 was almost as large as the 
strength of such units in existence in March 1945. The fig- 
ures were 1,917,000 and 2,041,000 respectively. 

14. In gross figures, mobilization of combat ground 
forces was therefore virtually complete by the end of 1942. 
Thereafter increase in planned strength went to other ele- 
ments of the Army, including service units of the Army 
Ground Forces; and development of combat ground 
forces was by internal readjustment within a relatively 
unchanging total. 

Cols. 26, 34: 15. During 1943 approximately 2,000,000 men were 

lines 19, 44. added to the mobilized strength of the Army. Of these, 
only 365,000 were added to combat ground forces. During 
Cols. 26, 34: 1944 and the first quarter of 1945 there was no addition to 

lines 44, 57. the mobilized strength of the Army. But the strength al- 

lotted to combat ground forces was reduced by 241,000 in 
Col. 26: 1944 and the first quarter of 1945. Hence, while about 

lines 19, 57. 2,000,000 were added to the Army after 1942, only 124,000 

were permanendy added to combat ground forces. 



GROUND FORCES IN THE ARMY: A STATISTICAL STUDY 



175 



16. The 2,000,000 men (more exactly 1,966,000) added 
to the authorized enlisted strength of the Army after 1942 
were distributed on 31 March 1945 as follows: 





MahHiZfd on 
3i Die 41 


MobUiZfd on 
}l2Aar45 


Addtd afttr 
1942 


AGF Combat Units . 


. 1,917,000 


2,041,000 


124,000 


AGF Service Units, , 


. 243,000 


461,000 


218,000 


ASF Service Units . . 


518,000 


1,097,000 


579,000 


Total Service Units . 


. (761,000) 


(1,558,000) 


(797,000) 


Army Air Forces . . 


. 1,300.000 


1,945,000 


645,000 


Overhead, 
Replacements, 
Nonavailables . . . 


. 1,022,000 


1,422,000 


400,000 


Total Army. . 


. 5.000,000 


6,966,000 


1,966,000 



Col. 30: 17. The Army Ground Forces repeatedly advised 

lines 13, 30, 47. against further drain of manpower to noncombat func- 
tions and urged increases of allotment to combat forces. 
As planned on 24 November 1942, combat units were 52.7 

CoL 23: percent of the total Army (less Air Forces). As mobilized 

lines 15,30,37,40. on 31 March 1945 combat units were only 40.6 percent of 
the total Army (less Air Forces). Hopes of the War De- 
partment, in the months following 24 November 1942, to 
raise the proportion of combat units by reduction of over- 
head and service elements did not materialize.^ 



18. Combat ground forces, in gross numbers, were 
virtually mobilized as early as the end of 1942, although 
combat groimd forces were the last elements of the Army 
to be employed in operations on a large scale. This differ- 
ence in timing is traceable to major changes in strategic 
plans in 1942. 



"Mobilization of the Ground Army, 



" in this volume. 



176 



ORGANIZATION OF GROUND COMBAT TROOPS 



19, Development of combat ground forces after 1942 
was obtained, as stated above, by readjustment within a 
relatively unchanging total. One form of readjustment was 



economy in Tables of Organization of individual units/ 
By this means additional units were formed without cor- 
Cols,4, 22: responding additional use of manpower. For example, 

line 19. while 1,056,000 enlisted men produced only 73^4 divisions 

Cols. 3, 22: on 31 December 1942, almost exactly the same number, 

line 31. 1,060,000, produced 84 divisions on 30 June 1943. The 89 

Cols. 1,22: divisions active on 31 March 1945 required only 70,000 

line 57. more men than did the 73J4 divisions active on 31 Decem- 



ber 1942. Sixteen divisions were added after 1942, with an 
additional quantity of manpower which would have 
yielded less than 5 divisions in 1942, This was because of 
reduction in divisional Tables of Organization in 1943. 
The same was true, though not demonstrable by the 
present table, in nondivisional units. 

20. A second form of readjustment, within a relatively 
tmchanging total for combat ground forces, was curtail- 
ment in the mobilization program of certain types of units. 
Curtailment took the form both of deletion of units whose 
activation was planned for the future and of inactivation 
of units already mobilized. The process was continuous 

Cols. 18, 20, 21. through 1943 and 1944. It affected especially antiaircraft, 
tank destroyer, and nondivisional infantry units (also coast 
artillery, not shown in the present table). It went farthest 

Cols. 20, 25: in antiaircraft artillery, which on 24 November 1942 was 

lines 16, 57. planned to reach a total of 781 battalions with 602,000 
enlisted men, but which by 31 March 1945 had only 331 
battalions with 246,000 enlisted men. 

21. Because of economics in Tables of Organization 
and because of deletions and inactivations, the addition of 
only 124,000 men to ground combat forces after 1942 
produced the following increment of combat units: 

* Sec ["Organization and Training of New Ground Combat EIements,"| in this volume. 



GROUND FORCES IN THE ARMY: A STATISTICAL STUDY 



177 



Aefivt Activt AJdtd 



3i Dte 42 3i Mar45 0fftr 1942 



Infantry (including Motorized 



and Mountain) Divisions 

Armored Divisions 

Airborne Divisions 

Heavy Artillery Battalions 

Medium Artillery Battalions . . . . 

Light Artillery Battalions 

Tank Battalions (Nondivisional) 
Engineer Battalions 



56 
14 
2 

32 
53 
57 
26 
69 



67 
16 
5 

137 
113 
76 
60 
226 



11 
2 
3 
105 
60 
19 
34 
157 



Col. 6: 
lines 5, 15, 20, 42, 

Col. 9; 
lines 5, 15, 40. 

CoL 10: 
lines 5, 15, 18, 20. 

CoL 9: line 40, 
Col. il: line 35 
CoL 7: lines 12-56. 

Cols. 2,8: 
line 51. 



CoL 6. 



Cols, 6,9, 11: 
line 43. 



22. In apportionment of strength among diHerent 
types of divisions, the Army Ground Forces consistently 
advised a higher proportion of infantry divisions and a 
lower proportion of armored and motorized divisions than 
vi^as originally favored by oflBccrs of the War Department 
General Staff. Recommendations of the Army Ground 
Forces to delete motorized divisions were gradually ac- 
cepted. Recommendations of the Army Ground Forces to 
reduce the number of armored divisions in proportion to 
infantry divisions were accepted only in part. Recommen- 
dations of the Army Ground Forces to inactivate armored 
divisions already mobilized and to convert airborne divi- 
sions to light infantry were not accepted. Plans for light 
divisions fluctuated widely and were then abandoned. 
Inactivation of a cavalry division in 1944 left the number 
of mobilized divisions at 89. 

23. Because of reduction in planned numbers of 
armored and motorized divisions the number of infantry 
divisions ultimately mobilized (66) was larger than the 
number of infantry divisions projected in 1942, despite the 
falling off in the total number of divisions, 

24. The desirability of more infantry divisions was 
recognized by the War Department at the end of 1943, 
when, in considering an increase in total number of divi- 



178 



ORGANIZATION OF GROUND COMBAT TROOPS 



sions from 90 to 105, it was proposed to add 14 infantry 
divisions and i cavalry division but no armored or airborne 
divisions. The divisions were not added. 
Cols. 13, 14: 25. The Army Ground Forces, at intervals from Sep- 

lines 12, 15,25, tember 1942 to March 1944, urged considerable increases 
26, 34, 42, 48, 53, of heavy and medium artillery, not accepted by the War 
Department in 1942, accepted in part in 1943, and accepted 
in 1944 (after operations at Cassino, Italy) to a degree sur- 
passing, in heavy artillery, the highest proposals made by 
the Army Ground Forces at earlier dates. 

Col. 17: 26. The Army Ground Forces urged more nondivi- 

lines 12, 15,21, sional tank battalions than were provided for in War 
26, 37. Department planning. The AGF recommendation of Jan- 

uary 1943 to obtain nondivisional tank battalions by dele- 
Cols. 9, 17: tion of planned armored divisions was not accepted. The 
line 21. number of planned armored divisions was reduced in con- 
sequence of general reduction of the Army in June 1943 
Col. 9: rather than as a means of providing more nondivisional 
line 32, tank battalions. The number of nondivisional tank bat- 
talions was raised in the later months of 1943 by internal 
reorganization of the armored divisions.^ 

Col. 18: 27. The Army Ground Forces at first recommended 

line 12. tank destroyer battalions in very large numbers. It was in 

this item that early views of the Army Ground Forces were 
Col. 18: at widest variance with later developments. As early as 

line 26. 14 April 1943 (after action in North Africa) the Army 

Ground Forces revised its proposals for tank destroyer 
battalions drastically downward, confining the number 
Col. 18: to battalions already active. Inactivation was called for by 

lines 36, 37, 41. the War Department Troop Basis of 4 October 1943, to a 
degree believed excessive by the Army Ground Forces, and 
Col. 18: subsequently modified. But 38 tank destroyer battalions 

lines 31, 57. were inactivated between 30 June 1943 and 31 March 1945, 

most of them in 1944. 



' Figures not shown in the present tabic; sec "Organization and Training of New Ground Combat 
Elements/' in this volume. 



GROUND FORCES IN THE ARMY: A STATISTICAL STUDY 



179 



Col. 20: 28, In antiaircraft artillery the AGF recommenda- 

lines 10, 12. tion of 81 r battalions on 30 September 1942 followed 

Cols. 20, 25: allotments prescribed by the War Department. There- 

lines 15, 26, 30, 42. after the Army Ground Forces repeatedly advised reduc- 
tion of the antiaircraft artillery program, believing that 
provision for Air Forces was sufficient to win general 
superiority in the air and that meanwhile strength allotted 
to ground forces should be put into units of higher com- 
bat value. The War Department hesitated to curtail the 
antiaircraft program. Antiaircraft artillery was in demand 
not only for support of combat ground forces but also for 
defense of fixed military and civilian installations, rear 
area troops, and air bases. The War Department Commit- 

Cols. 22, 23, 25: tee on Revision of the Military Program, in June 1943, 
line 28. having to reduce the planned strength of the Army by 

500,000, reduced the allotment for divisions by 355,000 
and for nondivisional combat units other than antiair- 
craft by 92,000, but for antiaircraft units only by 22,000* 
In these proposals the planned strength of antiaircraft 
artillery was almost as large as the planned strength of 
all other nondivisional combat units and over half as 
large as the planned strength of divisions of all types. 

Cols. 22, 23, 25: With some modification, these proposals were incorpo- 
line 32. rated in the approved Troop Basis of i July 1943. Not until 

the Troop Basis of 4 October 1943 was the planned 
strength of antiaircraft artillery substantially cut. It de- 
clined rapidly in 1944. Not until 1944 did inactivation 

Col. 25: exceed activation. Mobilized strength of antiaircraft artil- 

lines 44, 55. lery rose throughout 1943, reaching 431,000 on 31 Decem- 

ber 1943, only to fall to 257,000 by 31 December 1944. 

C0L21: 29. The Army Groimd Forces favored increases of 

lines 15, 18, 26, nondivisional infantry units, to prevent dissipation of divi- 
42, 54, sions by detachment of regiments, to provide imit replace- 

ment for relief of divisional infantry in combat, and to 
furnish pools of armored infantry battalions and parachute 
infantry regiments. Recommendations of the Army 



i8o 



ORGANIZATION OF GROUND COMBAT TROOPS 



Col. 21 : Ground Forces were accepted in principle by the War Dc- 

line 32, partment in the Troop Basis of i July 1943, which called 

for 195 nondivisional infantry battalions (expressed in 
battalions in the table, though actually organic for the most 
part in nondivisional regiments). Other demands for man- 
power made this figure impossible to maintain. Both the 
number of battalions planned and the number already 
mobilized declined after July 1943. Deletion of infantry 
units, as also of tank destroyer and antiaircraft, released 
men for use as overseas replacements (chiefly infantry) 
and as fillers for new units of other types. 

30. Increase of requirements for nondivisional service 
units beyond earlier provisions is reflected in the following 
percentages computed from the table: 

Service Units Expressed as a Percentage of 
Ground Combat Units 

Planned Mahslizjtd 
24 Nfftf 42 1 Jul 4^ 3J Mar « 

AGF Service Units (Combat Zone 



Services) 


12% 


14% 


23% 


ASF Units (Communications Zone 








Services) 


27% 


34% 


53% 


Total Service Units 


39% 


48% 


76% 



Services, as here employed, do not include engineer, signal, 
and chemical troops of combat types. Reconmiendations of 
the Army Ground Forces against diversion of manpower 
to service functions were aimed at communications-zone 
Col. 27; services, not at combat-zone services, for which provision 

line 30. was believed by the Army Ground Forces to be insufficient 

in 1943. 

In 1945 the strength of communications-zone (ASF) 
Cols, 22, 29: service units was almost equal to the strength of divisions 

line 57. of all types. 



GROUND FORCES IN THE ARMY: A STATISTICAL STUDY 



i8i 



The actual strength of the Army in March 1945 was about what was planned 
before reduction of the Army ceiling by 500,000 in June 1943. Before i July 1943 
an Army of 8,200,000 (7,500,000 enlisted) was projected. On 31 March 1945 
an Army of 8,157,386 existed. Reduction in the number and strength of ground 
combat units effected in June 1943 to conform to the lowered ceiling remained 
in effect, even though the ceiling was later so far exceeded as to be restored in 
practice to its earlier and higher figure. 

Two-thirds of the Army was overseas or en route overseas on i April 1945. 
Percentage of major elements was reported by the War Department as follows: 



Ovtrseas and En Route Overseas in Zjm of Interior 

Ground Forces 79% 21% 

Miscellaneous 66% 34% 

Service Forces 64% 36% 

Air Forces 51% 49% 

Total Army 66% 34% 



Ground Forces comprised slightly less than half of all troops overseas and en 
route overseas— approximately 2,500,000 out of 5,400,000 (all strengths actual 
and aggregate). They comprised slightly less than a quarter of all troops in 
the Zone of Interior — 630,000 out of 2,750,000. Of the 630,000 approximately 
400,000 consisted of individuals in the replacement stream, and approximately 
100,000 were in tactical units capable of overseas movement. The remaining 
130,000 constituted the overhead personnel of schools, replacement training 
centers, and other 2^ne of Interior commands. This 130,000 represented one- 
tenth of all Zone of Interior personnel in the Army, since, of the 2,750,000 officers 
and men in the Zone of Interior on i April 1945, approximately 1,300,000 were 
in specifically 2^ne of Interior assignments.* 

It may be concluded that the mission prescribed for the Army Ground 
Forces by the War Department in March 1942, "to provide ground force 
units ... for combat operations,"' was accomplished by March 1945, with 
some 80 percent of Ground Forces overseas, another 16 percent available or 
becoming available for overseas duty, and 4 percent (made up with negligible 
exceptions of men returned from, or disqualified for, overseas service) operating 
the training establishment in the United States. Only a small miscellany of 
tactical units (aggregating 100,000) remained at home. This constituted less 
than 4 percent of AGF tactical forces.' Over 96 percent of tactically organized 
Ground Forces (column 28 of the table) were overseas or en route thereto. 

* (1) App "A,** WD Gen Coun Min (S), 23 Apr 45 and App "B," 30 Apr 45. (2) "Status of Troop Basis 
Units as of 31 March 1945/' Grd Stat Sec, Rpt No 6, 19 Apr 45, * Cii 59, WD, 1942. 



III. Sources of the Table 



Line in 

Table Description of Document 

I. "Division Book" kept by DCofS, AGF. See 
AGF Historical Section, The Building and 
Training of Infantry Divisions. 

4. WD memo (S) OPD 320.2 (5-10-42) (2-12- 
42) for G-3 WD, 23 May 42, sub: Major 
Troop Requirements for 1942, 1943, and 1944. 

5. AGF memo (S) for OPD, 28 May 42, sub as 
above. 

6. AGF M/S, Col Parks to G-3 AGF, 10 Jun 42, 
sub: TB for 1943. 

7. Same as for line i, 

8. WD General Council Minutes (S), 26 Aug 42, 

10. WD Itr (S) AG 320.2 (7-27-42) MS-O-M to 
CGs AGF, AAF, SOS, 28 Aug 42, sub: Troop 
Basis, 1943. 

11. WD memo (S) WDGCT 320 (9-15-42) for 
CofS, USA, 15 Sep 42, sub: Mobilization Plans. 

12. AGF memo (S) for TAG, 30 Sep 42, sub: 
Troop Basis, 1943. 

13. Same as for line 12. 

14. WD memo (S) WDGCT 320.2 Gen (10-25- 
42) for CGs AGF and SOS, 25 Oct 42, sub: 
Troop Basis, 1943. 

15. AGF memo (S) for G-3 WD, 29 Oct 42, sub 
as above, 

16. WD memo (S) WDGCT 320.2 Gen (11-21-- 
42) for CGs AGF and SOS, 24 Nov 42, sub as 
above. 



Location of Document 
AGF DCofS File (S) 

320.2/190 (S) 

320.2/190 (S) 
320.2/210 (S) 

Coordination and 
Records Sec, OCS. 
320.2/3 (TB 43) (S) 



OPD Record Room, 
320.2 Sec IX (9) (S) 
320.2/4 (TB 43) (S) 

320.2/5 (TB 43) (S) 

320.2/5 (TB 43) (S) 

AGO Classified 
Records 320.2 (14 Jul 
42) (36) Sec I 



GROUND FORCES IN THE ARMY: A STATISTICAL STUDY 



183 



^q^l^ Description of Document 

18. Memo (C) of Gen McNair for G-3 and OPD 
WD, 7 Dec 42, sub: Orgn of Armd Units, 

19. 1943 Troop Basis, revision of 23 Feb 43. 



20. Memo (S) of Gen McNair for G-3 WD, 28 Jan 
43, sub: Basis of Orgn of Mtz Div. 

21. Memo (S) of Gen McNair for G-3 WD, 28 Jan 
43, sub: Trends in Orgn of Armd Fs. 

22. WD memo (S) WDGCT 320.2 Gen (2-25-43) 
for G-i, G-4, OPD, CGs AGF, SOS, AAF, 25 
Feb 43, sub: Troop Basis Planning. 

23. WD memo (S) WDGCT 320 (2-24-43) ^or 
CG^GF, 15 Mar 43, sub: Reorgn of Mtz Div, 

24. WD memo (S) OPD 320.2 (2-15-43) ^^r G-3 
WD, 30 Mar 43, sub : Light Divs. 

25. Memo (S) of Gen McNair for CG ASF, 12 
Apr 43, sub : Heavy Field Arty. 

26. Memo (S) of Gen McNair for G-3 WD, 14 
Apr 43, sub: Modification of Mobilization 
Procedures. 

27. Memo (S) of Col R. T. Maddocks, Col E, W. 
Chamberlain, Lt Col M. S, Carter for DCofS 
USA, 13 Jun 43, sub : Troop Basis, 1943. 

29. AGF memo (S) for G-3 WD, 15 Jun 43, sub: 
89th and 71st Light Divs, loth Mtn Div. 

30. Memo (S) of Gen McNair for DCofS USA, 
22 Jun 43, sub: Troop Basis 1943, 

31. Troop Basis 1943, revision of i Jul 43, 

32. Same as for line 31. 

33. WD General Council Minutes (S), 5 Jul 43, 

34. AGF memo (S) for G-3 WD, 17 Jul 43, sub: 
Heavy Mobile Artillery. 



Location of Document 

320.2/18 (Armd F) 
(C) 

AGF Plans Sec File 
185 in GNAG Records 
(S) 

322/1 (Divs) (S) 

320.2/20 
(ArmdF)(S) 
320.2/18 (TB43)(S) 



322/1 (Divs)(S) 

OPD Record Room 
320.2 Sec IX (9) (S) 
320.2/22 (TB43)(S) 

381/177 (S) 



320V31 (TB43)(S) 



322/2 (Divs)(S) 

320.2/31 (TB43)(S) 

320.2/57 (TB43)(C) 

Coordination and 
Records Sec, OCS 
320V22 (TB43)(S) 



184 



ORGANIZATION OF GROUND COMBAT TROOPS 



Une in 
Table 



Description of Document 



Location of Document 



35. AGF memo (S) for CofS USA, 22 Sep 43, sub: 
Rpt of Bd on A/B Opns. 

36. Troop Basis 1943, revision of 4 Oct 43. 

37. WD memo (S) WDGCT 320 Troop (2 Oct 
43) forDCofSUSA,sub:TB43. 

40, AGF memo for G-3 WD, 16 Oct 43, sub: 
Troop Basis 1944. 

41, Tentative Troop Basis 1944. 

42, Notes (S) by Col J. B. Sherman, Plans Sec, 
AGF, 8 Nov 43. (Stated by CofS AGF in May 
1944 to have been used by AGF in conference 
with War Dept.) 

43, Draft Troop Basis 1944. 

44, Troop Basis 1944, 15 Jan 44. 

45, Same as for line 44. 

47. AGF memo (S) for G-4 WD, 19 Feb 44, sub: 
Army Maintenance Effort. 

48. AGF memo (S) for CG ASF, 20 Mar 44, sub: 
Revision of Army Supply Program, i Feb 44. 

49. AGF memo for G-3 WD, 14 Apr 44, sub: 
71st and 89th Light Divs. 

50. AGF memo (C) for G-3 WD, 10 May 44, 
sub: Reorgn of loth Light Div. 

51. Troop Basis, i Jul 44 (S), 

53. Same as for line 51. 

54. Memo (S) of Gen Lear for G-3 WD, 23 Oct 
44, sub: Separate Inf Regts, 

55. Troop Basis, i Jan 45 (S). 

56. Same as for line 55. 

57. Troop Basis, i Apr 45 (S). 



353/17 (AB)(S) 

AGF Plans Sec File 
185 (S) 

AGF Plans Sec File 
185 (S) 

320.2/1 (TB44)(S) 

AGF Plans Sec File 
185 (S) 

AGF Plans Sec File 
185 (S) 



AGF Plans Sec File 
185 (S) 

314.7 (AGF Hist)(S) 
320.2/10 (TB 44) (S) 
320.2/32 (TB 44) (S) 
321/808 (Inf) 
322/1 (iothDiv)(C) 
314.7 (AGF Hist)(S) 
320.2/58 (TB 44) (S) 
314.7 (AGF Hist)(S) 
314.7 (AGF Hist)(S) 



Mobilization 
the Ground Army 

by 

Robert R. Palmer 



Contents 

I. GENERAL PROBLEMS OF MOBILIZATION 189 

II. THE 1942 ARMY 198 

The First Troop Basis of 1942 198 

Operational Needs 201 

The Manpower Crisis of tie Summer of 1941 206 

Change of War Flans : 208 

Summary of Mobilisation in 1942 209 

III. THE 1943 ARMY 212 

Reduction of the AGF Frogram: the 100-Division Army 214 

Reduction of Tables of Organisation and Equipment 217 

Further Deceleration and the AGF Fool Flan of April 1943 220 

Revision of the Military Frogram: the 90-Division Arn^ 225 

End of Expansion of Ground Forces 227 

IV. THE 1944 ARMY 231 

Implementation of the 1944 Troop Basis 235 

Economies and Conversions in 1944 237 

The Struggle to Maintain the 90-Division Army 244 

V. SUMMARY 252 

Tables 

1. The Army in Two Wars 191 

2. Deployment of the Army in 1918 and 1945 194 

3. Growth of the Army by Branch, 1941-45 203 

Annex to Table No. 3 204 

A. Growth of the Army by Branch 204 

B. Percent of Each Branch in Total Army 204 

C. Rate of Growth of the Army by Branch 205 

4. Mobilization after 1942: Enlisted Strength 210 

5. Ground Combat Units Mobilized after 1942 211 

6. Development of the Heavy Artillery Program, 1942-44 232 

7. Ratios of Nondivisional to Divisional Field Artillery, 30 June 1943-1 July 

1944 233 

Chart 

Authorized and Actual Enlisted Strength of Troop Units, Army Ground 

Forces, by Month, 1942-45 224 



I. General Problems of 
Mobilization 



In World War II the United States mobilized 91 divisions and inacti- 
vated 2} Eighty-nine divisions were employed overseas, and after entering the 
theaters all vt^ere maintained at or near their Table of Organization strength. 
The experience of World War I had been very different. At the time of the 
armistice in November 1918, 58 divisions had been activated but only 42 had 
been shipped overseas. Twelve of these 42 divisions were not functioning as 
combat units, having been drained for replacements or converted to other uses 
in France. Of the 16 divisions forming at home, 9 were at less than half- 
strength in November 1918, and i recently activated division could claim only 
a single enlisted man.^ This situation in 1918 reflected the fact that the war 
ended before mobilization in the United States was completed. But it reflected 
also the fact that the War Department was unable to maintain at full strength 
the Army that it had projected, and that some divisions had to be dissolved, 
or never filled, in order that others might have enough manpower to enter 
or remain in combat. 

It was therefore a considerable achievement, by the standards of World 
War I, not only to raise 91 divisions in World War II but also to maintain 89 
of them at effective strength as combat units, replacing losses without dissolu- 

* Changes in the status of the 2d Cavalry Division account for the two inactivated divisions. The 2d 
Cavalry Division was partially inactivated in July 1942 and fully reactivated in February 1943; it was com- 
pletely inactivated between February and May 1944. To avoid confusion in understanding further references 
to the number of divisions activated and made available for combat, it should be added that 3 divisions were 
activated overseas — the Amcrical Division in New Caledonia in May 1942, and the 24th and 25th Infantry 
Divisions in Hawaii in February 1921 and October 1941 respectively. Eighty -eight divisions, therefore, were 
activated in the Zone of Interior. The partial inactivation of the 2d Cavalry Division occurred in the United 
States, the other after shipment overseas, in the Mediterranean Theater. Accordingly, the total number of 
divisions prepared for combat and shipped to theaters by the Army Ground Forces was 87. 

'Table 2, "Personnel Sutistics Report, A-21, Strength of the Army as of November 15, 191 8," Statis- 
tics Branch, General Staff, AWC Library, UA 24 A554 P 1918 A 21 . 



190 



ORGANIZATION OF GROUND COMBAT TROOPS 



tion of any divisions committed to action, although some divisions suffered 
heavy and continuous losses over a period of years. By 31 January 1945, 47 
infantry regiments in 19 infantry divisions had lost from 100 percent to over 
200 percent of their strength in battle casualties alone.^ By May 1945 the 5 
hardest-hit divisions had suffered 176 percent battle casualties in all compo- 
nents/ Yet substantially all losses M^ere replaced/ To accomplish this result the 
Army Ground Forces trained for combat approximately 4^00,000 officers and 
enlisted men,* or about twice the number that were at any one time assigned 
to tactical units. 

Viewed against the background of total American resources, however, a 
ground army of 90 divisions may seem a modest creation. It was a much smaller 
proportion of the total Army of the United States than the ground force 
mobilized in World War I. The total Army mobilized in 1945 was well over 
twice as large as that mobilized in November 1918. But the unit strength of 
combatant ground forces was not much greater than in 1918, although by the 
end of World War II almost twice as many men had been trained for ground 
combat. Because the American divisions of the later war were much smaller 
than those of the earlier, the 90 divisions of 1945 included only 25 percent 
more manpower than the divisions of 1918. (See [Table No. The enemy 
put a larger proportion of his strength into ground forces. But the United 
States counted on other factors in planning its military effort. One was the 
strength of its allies. The Russian Army alone was estimated to have over 400 
divisions in 1945 and engaged the mass of the German ground forces in 
addition to neutralizing the Japanese forces on the Manchurian border. Another 
was Allied naval strength, which made it possible for American ground forces 
to attack at advantageous times and places. A third was Allied air power, which 
enabled ground forces to attack an enemy underequipped, disrupted, and some- 
times immobilized. To the strengthening of naval and air power, and to the 
material support of its allies, the United States devoted the larger proportion 
of its resources and its manpower in World War IL 

' Figures from AGF Statistical Section. 

*The 3d, 45th, 36th, 9th, and 4th Infantry Divisions, announced by the Under Secretary of War to have 
sustained combined casualties of 123,394, New Yor^ Times, i June 1945. 

"Total reported actual strength of all divisions in the Army was over 99 percent of authorized strength 
as of 30 April 1945. Strength Reports of the Army (S), Vol II, i May 45. 

*The Army Ground Forces trained 4,194,000 enlisted men and 203,000 officers. Army Ground Forces, 
Report of Activities (Washington, 1946), p. 38. These figures are an estimate made by Lt. Col. Seth L, Weld, 
from the data available to the Troop Movements Branch, G-3, AGF, in 1945- 



MOBILIZATION OF GROUND ARMY 



191 



TABLE NO. I 



The Army in Two Wars 
{Aggregate Strengths) 





[ n 


in 


IV 


V 


VI 


vn 


VIII 




Trwp Basis 

HepOrfva jtreltSfD 

Actual (Approx. 
Strength actual) 
13 r*iov 10 3U Apr *3 


Percent 0/ 
Total Army 

19I8 1945 


Percent of 
Total Army 

less Air 
19I8 1945 


Percent of 
Total Ground 
Combat Forces 
19I8 1945 


Army Exclusive of Ait Forces: 

Nondmsional Combat 

(less AAA) 


933,862 1.194.569 
726,149 779.882 


25.2 
19.6 


14.4 
9.4 


26.6 
20.7 


20.0 
13.0 


56.3 
43.7 


53.5 
35.0 


Grouod Combat Forces 
(less AAA) 


1.660,011 1.974.451 
259.403 


44.8 


23.8 
3.1 


47.3 


33.0 
4,3 


100.0 


88.5 
11.5 


Total Ground Combat Forces. . 
Overhead and Miscellaneous. . . . 


1.660.011 2.233.854 
945,470 1,638.214 
454.863 841.715 
. 453.793 1.269,709 


44.8 
25.5 
12.3 
12.3 


26.9 
19.8 
10.2 
15.3 


47.3 
26.7 
13.0 
13.0 


37.3 
27.4 
14.1 
21.2 


100.0 

56.9 

27.4 
27.4 


100.0 
73.5 
37.8 
56.9 


Total Army (less Air) 


3.514.137 5.983.492 
190.493 2»307,501 


94.9 
5.1 


72.2 
27.8 


100.0 


lOO.O 






TOTAL 


.. 3.704.630 8,290,993 


100.0 


100.0 











INTERPRETATION: Subject to reservations as indicated in the following note, and considering only 
the Army without the Air Forces, the following may be noted: 

I. In 1918 almost half the Army was in combat categories, in 1945 only a little over a third. (Cols. 

V and VI.) 

3. Within the category of combat troopS} divisions and nondivisional forces (including antiaircraft) 
were in about the same proportion to each other in the two wars. (Cols. VII and VIII.) 

3. Personnel classifiable as replacements numbered somewhat over an eighth of the Army in both wars. 
(Cols. V and VI.) 

4. Personnel in service categories numbered somewhat over a quarter of the Army in both wars, (Cols. 

V and VI.) 

5. Personnel in overhead and miscellaneous cate>fories was proportionately much hi>fher in 1945 than in 
1918, approximating respectively one-fifth and one-eighth, (Cols. V and VI,) To some extent this reflects the 
more accurate accounting methods of 1945, by which overhead and miscellaneous functions were more care- 
fully distinguished from tactical units than in 191 8. Analysis of the overhead and miscellaneous category 
in the two wars appears on the following page. It may be noted that, excluding the Students Army Training 
Corps of 191 8, which was not a form of operating overhead, the figure for 191 8 scarcely exceeded 275,000, 
or one- thirteenth of the strength of the Army. 

6. The large figure for overhead and miscellaneous in 1945 explains the relatively low proportion of 
combat forces, since proportion of replacements and service forces was almost the same in the two wars. 
(Cols. V and VI.) 

7. Replacements, while forming about the same fraction of the Army in the two wars, were in higher 
ratio to combat forces 'm 1945 than in 1918, because the ratio of combat forces to the whole Army was lower. 
(0)ls. VII and VIII.) This higher proportion of replacement to combat forces in 1945, together with the 
fact that they were more fully trained and that the movement of replacements was more systematically 
conducted, partly explains why units were kept more nearly at authorized strength in 1945 than in 191 8. 

8. Service troops, while forming about the same fraction of the Army in the two wars, were also in 
higher ratio to combat forces in 1945 than in 191 8. (Cols. VII and VIII.) This reflects the fact that the combat 
forces of 1945, more highly mechanized and in part more distantly deployed than in 1918, required more 



192 



ORGANIZATION OF GROUND COMBAT TROOPS 



service support. It reflects also the fact that overhead and miscellaneous establishments required service 
facilities. Even if the combat troops of 1945 had received no more service support than those of 1918, the 
ratio of service to combat troops would have been higher in 1945, because of the need for service troops to 
support the overhead and miscellaneous establishments. 

NOTE: While it is believed that the picture given by the above figures is accurate in its general outlines, 
detailed comparison of figures for the tvi^o vicars is subject to serious limitations. The strength of the Army 
was not classified in the same way in 191 8 and in 1945. The following may be noted of the categories used 
in the table: 

Divisions, In principle the triangular divisions of 1945 had a higher percentage of combat personnel 
than the square divisions of 1918. In practice there was surprisingly little difference. Divisions in the AEF 
in November 1918 varied greatly, but the average strength of 29 effective divisions was 22,995, which 
76 percent was in infantry, field artillery and machine-gun personnel. (Tables Nos, 2 and 14 of the sources 
listed below.) Infantry divisions of 1945 had a T/O strength of 14,037, of which 81 percent was in Infantry 
and field artillery. {Machine gunners were carried as infantry in 1945.) Armored divisions of 1945 had a T/O 
strength of 10,670, of which only 63 percent was in tank units, infantry, and field artillery. (T/O's 7 and 17, 
24 January 1945.) Other divisions of 1945 (chiefly airborne) resembled infantry divisions. Weighting for 
the different types yields 78 percent combat strength for all divisions in 1945. Hence the proportion of combat 
strength in divisions of 1918 and 1945 was about the same. 

Nondivisional Combat and Nondivisional Service. In these categories in the table the figures for 1945 
include organized units only, whereas the figures given in the statistics of 191 8 were not explicitly limited 
to organized units, and probably include some personnel which in 1945 would have been carried as "Overhead 
and Miscellaneous." 

Antiaira'aft Artillery, Refers only to units in 1945; no such category in 19 18. 

Replacements and Overhead and Miscellaneous. Principal components of these categories in 191 8 and 
in 1945 were as follows: 

Beplacemcnts 

AGF ASF 

1918 1945 (ARMS) (SERVICES) 

Replacement Training Centers 298,100 29,600 

Replacement Depots 67,900 10,800 

Emergency Replacement Stockage 17,200 2,460 

Officer Candidate Schools 5,000 6,000 

Officer Replacement Pools 10,000 5.000 

Rotational Policy 11.250 12,500 

Redistribution Stations 8,300 4,150 

Casuals in Staging Areas and en route 

Overseas 61,000 16,000 

Other AGF and ASF 18,000 20,950 



Depot Brigades 196,383 

Infantry Replacements 54,666 

Machine-Gun Replacements.. . . 15,741 

Casuals and Uoassigned 15,369 

Casuals at Ports 37,256 

Troops en route to Ports 250 

Development Battalions 40,760 

Officers Training Schoob 59,468 

Casuals and Replacements in 

Eorope 34.970 



TOTAL 454,863 



TOTAL AGF AND ASF 496,350 



117,460 



Army Specialized Training Program 16,250 

Special Training Units. 1 1,000 

Overseas Replacement Depots and Training Centers. . . 200,655 



TOTAL. 



841,715 



Overhead and Miscellaneous 



1918 

Headqtiarters of Camps, etc 

Students Army Training Corps , . . 
Recruits at Depots and Camps » . . 

Patients in SOS Hospitals 

War Department. 



16,205 
175,872 
32.747 
82,013 
2,007 

Unclassified 116,934 



Other. 



28,015 



TOTAL 453,793 



1945 

Bulk Allotments to AGF (131.440) and ASF 
(398,467) for Zone of Interior installations, 
etc. (including permanent personnel of re- 
placement agencies listed above) 529,907 

Reception Centers (Recruits) 30,000 

Hospital Population 415,000 

War Department Groups 6,408 

Theater Overheads 159.726 

Repatriated Military Personnel 20,000 

Other 108,668 



TOTAL 4,269,709 



MOBILIZATION OF GROUND ARMY 



Although the ASTP of 1945 and the SATC of 1918 were alike in that their personnel were stationed 
on college campuses, the ASTP is here classified as "Replacements" because its trainees had had basic military 
training and were usable for military purposes, and the SATC is classified under "Overhead and Miscellaneous" 
because its trainees had negligible military experience and were not usable for military purposes without 
considerable further training. 

Army Air Forces. Figures for the two dates arc roughly comparable, the figure for 1918 including not 
only the Air Service of that period but also personnel classified in 191 8 under ''Aircraft Production" and 
"Military Aeronautics'*; but, since aviation in 1918 drew more heavily on services of the rest of the Army 
than in 1945, it is probable that the total effort expended in 1918 on aviation should be represented by a 
higher figure than 190,000 if comparison with 1945 is desired. 

Sources: For 19 IS: Tables Nos. I, 2» 4, aad 14 of "Personnel Statistics Report, A>21, Scrcnsth of the Arm^ as of 
November 19, 1918," dated December 1918, Statistics Branch, War Department General Staff. Arm^ 
War CoUege Libxary, UA 24 A 554 P 68150. 

For 1949: War Department Troop Basis, I May 1949. Ground AG Records, 320.2 Troop Basis (S). 
The Troop Basis, after authorizing an aggregate suength of 7,700,000 from I July 1943 through I April 
1945, was raised on 1 May 1945 to cover the actual strength to which the Army had grown. 



The ground forces of World War II proved to be none too large. 
In 19 1 8 American troops were needed only in France. In 1942-45 they 
were needed on opposite sides of the globe. (See jl^able No. 2. ) Despite 
the tremendous victories of the Russians, and despite control of the sea and air 
by the western allies, almost all American ground forces were committed before 
Germany surrendered in May 1945. At that time over 96 percent of the tactical 
troops of the Army Ground Forces were overseas, and the last divisions had 
been dispatched three months before. No more combat units were forming at 
home. No reserve, other than replacements, remained in the United States. Nor 
was there any significant strategic reserve of uncommitted forces in the theaters. 
This fact represents both a remarkably accurate planning of the minimum 
forces required for victory and a fairly narrow escape from disagreeable eventu- 
alities, in case general strategic plans had suffered a serious set-back. 

With divisions relatively so few, their maximum battle effectiveness was at 
a premium. Two of the factors on which this was believed to depend were thor- 
ough training and a system for effecting reUef from excessively prolonged com- 
bat strain. To provide such relief rotation of divisions, or of parts of divisions, 
was contemplated. Actually, the replacement problem interfered with both of 
the factors mentioned. The measures taken to solve it disrupted division training 
at home, and also melted into the stream of individual replacements separate 
infantry regiments and other forms of unit replacements in order to keep at full 
strength the divisions committed. Again, with so many other demands for ship- 
space, divisions were shipped to theaters rather slowly. For all of these reasons, 
it was difficult, and in some theaters impossible, to withdraw divisions from 
combat for periods of rest. During intensive combat an infantry division suffered 
about 100 percent losses in its infantry regiments every three months. While the 



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MOBILIZATION OF GROUND ARMY 



gaps caused by these losses were generally filled by the continuous stream of 
replacements, divisions suffered in efficiency with such a high turnover of 
infantry. A severe mental strain was imposed on the individual soldier, especially 
the infantryman, who felt that no matter how long he fought, or how long he 
survived the dangers of combat, he must remain in action until removed as a 
casualty. Cases of battle neurosis multiplied. Or men simply became tired, and 
when tired were more easily killed, wounded, or captured. The stream of replace- 
ments thus flowed into somewhat leaky vessels. Army Ground Forces thought 
that, if more units had been available to relieve units in battle, not only would 
the strain on combat soldiers have been eased but some saving of manpower 
would probably have resulted.^ 

The present study traces the process, so far as it was known at the head- 
quarters of the Army Ground Forces, by which the United States combatant 
ground army of World War II was planned, mobilized, and maintained at 
effective strength,^ 

The ultimate size to which the Army should be expanded was by no means 
the first question which had to be settled in the planning of mobilization. A 
more immediate problem was the timing of expansion. Under ideal conditions 
mobilization would synchronize on the one hand with the production of equip- 
ment, so that troops would not be organized faster than weapons became avail- 
able for training or combat, and on the other hand with general strategic plans, 

' For the evidence on which these views are based^ sec AGF Historical Section: The Building and Train- 
ing of Infantry Divisions; Provision of Enlisted Replacements; and Procurement of Enlisted Personnel for 
the AGF: the Problexn of Quality. 

" Other studies prepared by the AGF Historical Section are closely related to the present study. 

Three such studies appear in the present volume: (i) "Ground Forces in the Army, December 1941- 
April 1945: a Statistical Study," which presents the mobilization of ground elements in tabular form; 
(2) "Reorganization of Ground Troops for Combat," which, dealing with the internal organization of 
units, indicates the allotment of manpower and equipment to each type of unit set up for mobilization; 
and (3) "Organization and Training of New Ground Combat Elements," which presents aspects of the 
mobilization of armored forces, airborne units, and heavy artillery units. 

Other related studies arc the following: (i) Provision of Enlisted Replacements, dealing with the 
replacement system by which units once mobilized were kept in being; (2) The Building and Training of 
Infantry Divisions; (3) Problems of Nondivisional Training in the Army Ground Forces; and (4) Prepara- 
tion of Units for Overseas Movement, in which details are presented regarding the effects on training of 
certain difficulties inherent in mobilization, such as the need of supplying cadres, the shortage of manpower 
and equipment, the turnover of personnel within units and the consequent need for repeated training, and 
the stripping of trained units for replacements; (5) Procurement of Enlisted Personnel for the AGF: the 
Problem of Quality; (6) The Procurement and Branch Distribution of Officers; (7) Wartime Training in 
the Schools of the Army Ground Forces; and (8) Training of Officer Candidates in AGF Special Service 
Schools, in which the effects of mobilization on the procurement and training of suitable officers, enlisted 
men, and specialists are treated. 



196 



ORGANIZATION OF GROUND COMBAT TROOPS 



SO that troops would be ready in the necessary types and numbers, organized, 
trained and equipped, as operational requirements developed. It was wasteful 
of manpower to induct men before equipment was available for training, or to 
train them too long before they were required in operations. Another immedi- 
ate problem was that of distributing the growing strength of the Army among 
its component parts. Apportionment had to be made between air forces and 
ground forces, between combat troops and service troops, and among the several 
branches such as Infantry, Field Artillery, Quartermaster, and Military Police, 
Strength had also to be distributed within each unit: in the infantry battalion, 
for example, among riflemen, machine gunners, clerks, and cooks. The need 
throughout was to achieve a balance: the right ratio of machine gunners to 
riflemen, of artillery to infantry units, of service to combat troops, of air 
forces to ground forces, and of all forces to overhead — the right ratio, or bal- 
ance, being ultimately that by which the enemy could be defeated soonest. 

Size and internal balance of individual units were specified in Tables of 
Organization (T/O's).^ The "authorized strength" of a unit was normally 
its Table of Organization strength. A unit was "overstrength" if it had more 
men than its T/0 called for, "understrength" or "short" if it had fewer. In 
some circumstances overstrength or understrength might be authorized. 

The number of units to be mobilized was set forth in a document known 
as the Troop Basis, which gave the authorized strength of the entire Army as 
of a specified date in the future. The total figure set by the Troop Basis was 
the total of the Tables of Organization of all authorized units, plus allotments 
of manpower to allow for men in transit, hospital patients, replacements, over- 
head establishments, and other needs for which no set tables could be pre- 
scribed. The Troop Basis was therefore a blueprint of the Army, indicating 
how many bomber groups, infantry divisions, ordnance companies, etc., should 
be mobilized. It was a budget of manpower, showing the use to which the War 
Department proposed to put the manpower made available to it. It was also a 
plan of mobilization, showing, by successive projections several months or a 
year into the future, what the size and composition of the Army should be at 
successive future dates.^** 

The Activation Schedule was derived from the Troop Basis. The Troop 
Basis set up the objective and the major phases in timing. The Activation Sched- 

* Treated at length below in "Reorganization of Ground Forces for Combat/* 

" For a more technical description of the Troop Basis see above, "Ground Forces in the Army, De- 
cember 1941-Apri! 1945: a Statistical Study." 



MOBILIZATION OF GROUND ARMY 



197 



ule marked out the individual steps by which die objective should be reached, 
show^ing exactly w^hat units should be activated each month. Whether a unit 
called for in the Troop Basis w^as actually activated on a given date depended 
on a variety of practical and often transitory circumstances: w^hether men were 
forthcoming from Selective Service, whether a trained cadre could be obtained, 
whether training equipment and housing accommodations would be available. 
All these factors fluctuated over short periods* They were difficult to foresee. 
The Activation Schedule therefore had to be closely watched and frequently 
modified. In principle the Troop Basis was revised only for reasons of general 
strategy or fundamental necessity; the Activation Schedule was revised to con- 
form to circumstances of the moment. 

The broad decisions of mobilization policy that determined the total 
strength of the armed forces and the distribution between the War and Navy 
Departments were made by the highest executive authority, acting with the 
advice of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. Within strategical requirements as trans- 
mitted by the Joint Chiefs, the War Department determined the relative 
strengths of the Army Air Forces, the Army Ground Forces, and the Army 
Service Forces (originally called the Services of Supply). To the Army Air 
Forces, until the end of 1943, the War Department made a bulk allotment 
of manpower. The Troop Basis showed only a lump total for the Air Forces 
until October 1943. By that time mobilization was virtually complete. 

Over the ground army, both Groxind Forces and Service Forces, the War 
Department exercised a more immediate jurisdiction. Without explicit War 
Department approval the headquarters of the Army Ground Forces could 
not alter Tables of Organization by adding or removing a single individual. 
It could not modify the Troop Basis by adding or deleting a single battalion. 
Until September 1942 it could not change the Activation Schedule on its 
own authority. A few weeks after the reorganization of the War Department 
in March 1942 it was even proposed by G-3 of the War Department that, 
while the Army Air Forces and Services of Supply should continue to activate 
their own units, the power to activate AGF units should revert to the War 
Department.'^ This proposal was dropped when Army Ground Forces non- 
concurred, but the War Department continued to hold the Ground Forces 
within a framework of central control. The Army Ground Forces had exten- 
sive powers of recommendation on matters of mobilization, but the decisions 
were made by the War Department General Staff, 

AGF Memo for G-3 WD, 9 Apr 42^ sub: Agency or Agencies to Activate Units. 320.2/1915. 



II. The 1942 Army 



On the day before the bombing of Pearl Harbor Lt, Gen. Lesley J. McNair, 
then Chief of Staff, General Headquarters, estimated that an army of 200 divi- 
sions would be necessary for offensive action by the United States/ The ex- 
pectations of the War Department General Staff ran in 1942 to somewhat 
the same figure,^ A study by the Joint Chiefs on the ultimate size of the Army 
envisaged 334 divisions, an air force of 2,700,000, and an antiaircraft artillery 
force of no less than 1,102,000,^ In the spring of 1942 the United States, ejected 
from the Philippines, was everywhere on the defensive. The military value of 
its allies was open to question; the British had been driven from Singapore 
and were being hard pressed in the Middle East, and the Russians were suffering 
defeat in the Ukraine. 

The early forecasts for the U, S, Army were in the nature of preplanning 
estimates, and are significant mainly in illustrating the feeling at the time. 
Practical and specific planning could hardly look beyond a year into the future 
and was relatively modest in its aims. 

The First Troop Basis of 1942 

The plan in effect at the time of the establishment of the Army Ground 
Forces was the Troop Basis issued by the War Department on 15 January 1942.* 
The Army at the time of Pearl Harbor, after fifteen months of peacetime 

*Memo (S) of Gen McNair for G-3 WD, 6 Dec 41, sub: Organized Reserves. GHQ Records, 
320.2/58 (S). 

'WD memo (S> OPD 320.2 (5-10-42) (2-12-42) for G-3 WD, 23 May 42, sub: Major Troop Unit 
Requirements for 1942, 1943, and 1944. 320.2/190 (S). 

"Annex A (S) of TCS 57/^^. 22 Oct 42. AGO Records, 322 (7-14-42) Sec i (S). 

* (i) WD memo (C) G--3/6457-433 for CG Field Forces, 15 Jan 42, sub: Mob and Tng Plan, Jan 42, 
GHQ Records, 320.2/60 (C). (2) WD Itr (C) AG 381 (1-14-42) MSC-C-M, 17 Jan 42, sub: Mob and 
Tng Plan 1942. GHQ Records, 320.2/62 (C). 



MOBILIZAnON OF GROUND ARMY 



199 



mobilization, consisted of about 1,600,000 men. (See Table No. 3.) Some 36 
divisions had been organized. The Air Corps had a personnel of only 270,000. 
Certain types of service units had not been developed in the proportions needed 
in war. The Troop Basis of January 1942 provided that by the end of 1942 
the Army would reach a strength of 3,600,000 enlisted men, to include 73 divi- 
sions and an air force of 998,000, So far as ground forces were concerned, em- 
phasis was placed on the mobilization of new divisions. The training of divi- 
sions required a year; that of nondivisional units, whether of combat or of serv- 
ice types, could for the most part be accomplished in six months. It was there- 
fore believed that the nondivisional program could proceed more slowly,^ 

It was also decided in January 1942 that replacement training centers 
would not be expanded proportionately with the expansion of the Army. 
In 1941 basic training had been concentrated in replacement centers, and 
tactical units drew their filler personnel from graduates of the centers. 
General McNair believed that tactical units could be trained more rapidly 
and effectively under this system. But the War Department preferred not 
to authorize new housing for replacement centers, and to use incoming 
manpower to create units as rapidly as possible.* Units were therefore to 
draw filler personnel from untrained recruits at reception centers. This policy 
had serious effects on the mobilization of units, for it required that, in addi- 
tion to training as tactical units, they function in effect as basic training 
centers and as replacement pools. 

Many developments upset the initial program for mobilization in 1942. 
It proved impossible to foresee all needs, or to build the Army according to 
the blueprint of the January Troop Basis.^ Units not called for in the Troop 
Basis were activated, and the Troop Basis was then revised to include them. 
With manpower thus diverted to unforeseen needs, units set up in the original 
Troop Basis could not be brought to authorized strength, AGF units especially 
suffered from chronic shortages of personnel. 

Shortages were due in part to the normal process of growth,^ Trained 
units had to supply personnel as cadres for the formation of new units. Some 

" Memo (S) of Gen McNair for G-3 WD, 3 Aug 42, sub: Pers and Tng Status of Units of AGF, 
320.2/283 (S). 

• (i) WD memo G-3/ 6457-433 for CofS USA, 27 Dec 41, sub: Mob and Tng Plan (revised) 1942, 
with qualified concurrence of GHQ. AGO Records, 381 (12-37-41) (2). (2) GHQ Itr to First Army, 31 
Jan 42, sub: Tng of Enl Repls Reporting Directly from Reception Centers. GHQ Records, 353/763 (First 
Army). 

' (i) WD Gen Council Min (S), 21 and 29 Apr, 7 Jul, 7 Sep 42. (2) WD lir (R) AG 320.2 (6-20-42) 
MS SPGAO-M to CGs, 22. Jun 42, sub: Mil Pers not Included in Current Tr Basis. 320.2/43 (R). 
See AGF Historical Section, The Building and Traininj? of Infantry Divisions, 



200 



ORGANIZATION OF GROUND COMBAT TROOPS 



units furnished cadres more than once. All units lost enlisted men who became 
officer candidates or went to service schools for enlisted-specialist courses. 
Some men were lost as physically unfit, others as parachute volunteers. There 
was a large drain to the Army Air Forces, which recruited throughout the 
Army for aviation cadets. This attrition in units (as distinguished from sup- 
plying cadres) would have been much less had basic training remained con- 
centrated in replacement centers, because the selective processes involved 
commonly occurred during the individual's first montlis in the service. 

Foreseeing such attrition, General McNair in January 1942 recommended 
that new units be activated with a 10 percent overstrength, in order that they 
might be at T/0 strength on completion of training.* The War Department, 
wishing to create a maximum number of new units with the personnel available, 
took the opposite course of authorizing an understrength. New units were 
activated at T/O strength, less basic privates. Basic privates were men included 
in Tables of Organization over and above all specified job assignments as an 
advance provision for replacements* In most units they constituted 10 percent 
of T/O strength. Units were supposed to be able to sustain combat without 
their basics, but, since it was planned to add the basics before shipment of units 
overseas, their absence meant a shortage which eventually had to be filled. In 
March 1942 a proposal was made by G-3, War Department General Staff, to 
authorize an additional 15 percent understrength for units in early stages of 
training. The proposal was not carried out. Brig. Gen, Mark W. Clark, then 
Chief of Staff, AGF, wrote: 

It is believed that since we are at war our combat units should be trained as complete 
standard units, at a strength suitable for immediate combat. It is considered that to add about 
one-third strength to a unit approximately three months before the unit engages in battle 
against our well-trained adversaries, would be to place the unit on the battlefield at a disad- 
vantage which could have been avoided without serious detriment to the war effort as a 
whole, 

Understrength was not authorized except for the initial omission of basic 
privates. But it continued to exist in fact. The War Department was under heavy 
pressure to supply manpower to other than Ground Force organizations, and 
within the Ground Forces to divert manpower to other than primary combat 
units. The Air Forces grew more rapidly than the January Troop Basis provided. 

• Minutes (S) GHQ staff conference, 28 Jan 42. GHQ Records, 337 (S). 

"AGF memo (R) for G-3 WD, 19 Mar 42, sub: Reduction in Authorized Strength of Certain Units 
Included in Tr Basis 1942. 320,2/9 (R). 



MOBILIZATION OF GROUND ARMY 



201 



Antiaircraft units were authorized by the War Department, in this early and 
defensive phase of the war, beyond the numbers at first planned. The earlier 
plan to defer activation of nondivisional service units until after the launching 
of divisions on their training program broke down ; service units were in fact 
activated in great numbers. 

Operational Needs 

These calls upon the War Department reflected operational needs, both in 
the defense commands, in which certain types of forces, especially antiaircraft, 
were assigned to combat stations, and in the overseas theaters, which were then 
beginning to be built up. 

In April 1942 first priority was given to a plan to ship 1,000,000 men to the 
United Kingdom for employment in a cross-Channel operation in April 1943 
(ROUNDUP), or in a smaller operation late in 1942 (SLEDGEHAMMER) 
if assistance to the Russians became absolutely imperative." The plan was grad- 
ually modified as the British position in Egypt grew more critical, and in July 
it was postponed in favor of an operation in northwest Africa (TORCH) 
Meanwhile troops were shipped to Great Britain, especially service troops to 
prepare the way for combat forces. In August a limited offensive was mounted 
in the South Pacific. Other troops, chiefly in service, air, and antiaircraft units, 
with here and there an infantry regiment for local protection, were scattered 
in quiet theaters from Alaska to the Persian Gulf. 

These operations had pronounced effects on mobilization and training in 
the Army Ground Forces. Since AGF units were generally understrength, and 
since the output of replacement training centers was inadequate, the filling of 
divisions and other units to T/0 strength, in preparation for overseas movement, 
required transfer of trained personnel from other units destined to remain 
longer at home. These units in turn either remained understrength, or received 
untrained men from reception centers, repeated parts of their training program, 
and finally filled their last shortages by tapping still other units. From some old 
divisions whole regiments or combat teams were bodily removed. On 24 July 
1942 the 30th, 31st, 33d, 38th, and 40th Divisions lacked regiments or other 
major parts. Thus crippled, it was difficult for them to engage in maneuvers or 
advanced divisional exercises. New divisions could not attain full strength on 

^ Papers (S) filed under "Bolero." AGF Plans Sec file (S). 



202 ORGANIZATION OF GROUND COMBAT TROOPS 

activation because other elements of the Army had higher priority on inductees. 
Training of new divisions v^^as thus delayed at the start or, once begun, was 
interrupted by the receipt of fillers direct from civilian life at spasmodic and 
unpredictable intervals. Meanwhile the attempt to create three or four new 
divisions a month meant that nondivisional units could not receive personnels 
The Army Ground Forces preferred to pass a tactical unit as an integral whole 
through progressive phases of training, but it proved impossible to carry out this 
policy. Some small units remained at cadre strength for months after activation. 
Most large units, with the constant attrition and turnover of personnel, found 
themselves training men at different levels at the same time." 

Drained by the necessity of supplying cadres, officer candidates, and avia- 
tion cadets, and of furnishing personnel for overseas assignment, AGF units 
met difficulty in replacing their losses ^because of the de mand of the A rmy 



Air Forces and the Services of Supply for inductees. (See I Table No. ^ J with 



Annex]) The Air Forces, which had not grown as rapidly as the ground arms 
in the prewar mobilization of 1941, was given high priority by the War De- 
partment in 1942, The Services of Supply, as projected in the Troop Basis of 
January 1942, was smaller in proportion to combat forces than it had been in' 
1917 and 1918. The cross-Channel plan for 1943 created new demands for port 
battalions, construction units, signal troops, and other service elements for use 
in Great Britain. In May the required proportion of service elements in the 
invasion force was estimated at 30 percent, a figure to which Maj. Gen. Dwight 
D. Eisenhower, Chief of the Operations Division, WDGS, found it necessary 
to consent, though he observed that with so many service troops the necessary 
combat troops could not be shipped/^ But on 2 June the proportion of service 
troops in the force had risen to 48 percent." 

In May, to keep up with activation already effected or planned, the 
President authorized the induction of an additional 750,000 men in 1942, rais- 
ing the objective set in the 1942 Troop Basis from 3,600,000 to 4,350,000." Of 

" (i) AGF M/S (S), 26 Jun ^^(f. sub: Tr Unit Basis 1942. 320.2/283 (S). (3) AGF M/Ss (S), 13 
Jul 42ff. 320.2/283 (S). (3) AGF memo (S) for G-3 WD, 24 Jul 42, sub: Modification of Tr Basis 1942. 
320.3/2 (TB 42) (S). (4) Memo (S) of Gen McNair for G-3 WD, 3 Aug 43, sub: Pers and Tng Status 
of Units of AGF. 320.2/283 (S). (5) WD memo (S) WDGCT 320.2 Gen (8-3-42) for CG AGF, 7 Aug 42, 
sub as above. 320.2/283 (S). (6) AGF memo (S) for OPD WD, 9 Aug 42, sub: Directive for Overseas Tr 
Movement — Sep. 370.5/462 (S), (7) AGF memo (S) for G-3 WD, 9 Sep 42, sub as in (4) above. 
320.2/283 (S). 

" WD Gen Council Min (S), 19 May 43. " M/Vf., 2 Jun 42 (S). 

"WD Itr (C) AG 320.2 (5-J9-42), 20 May 42, sub: Increased Strength of the Army, Calendar Year 
1942. 320,2/1 2 i/(C). 



MOBILIZATION OF GROUND ARMY 



203 



the 750,000 added, 250,000 were earmarked for the Air Forces, 250,000 were 
already used up by overdrafts on the Troop Basis of January, and most of 
the remaining 250,000 were committed to new units authorized for the Services 
of Supply/^ The allotment of 4,350,000 was soon overdrawn. A revised Troop 

WD Gen Council Min (S), 27 May 42. 



TABLE NO. 3 
Growth of the Army by Branch, ig^i-^^ 



(Reported Actual Strength and Percent of Total Army) 





31 December 194 1 


31 December 1942 


31 December 1943 


31 March 1945 


BRANCH 




















Strength 


Percent 


Strength 


Percent 


Strength 


Percent 


Strength 


Percent 


Infantry. Cavalry, field 


















Artillery (includes Armor* 


















ed and Tank Destroyer) «... 


690,083 


41.7 


1,512.730 


28.0 


1.960,068 


24.9 


^2,423,075 


29.7 


Coast Artillery Corps 




















177,379 


10.7 


425.187 


7.9 


590.939 


7.9 


330,442 


4.1 




867,462 


52.4 


1,939.917 


35.9 


2,451.007 


32.8 


2,753.517 


33.8 




966 


0.1 


4,418 


0.1 


15.688 


0.2 


56.116 


0.7 




91.476 


5.5 


333.209 


6.2 


561,066 


7.5 


688,764 


8.4 




50,596 


3.0 


241,227 


4.5 


309.641 


4.1 


331.105 


4.1 




129^512 


7.8 


469.981 


8.8 


622.227 


8.3 


670,151 


8.2 




34,278 


2.1 


235,350 


4.3 


316.174 


4.2 


332,042 


4.1 




122,672 


7.4 


327,794 


6.1 


453.419 


6.1 


491.301 


6.0 




6,269 


0.4 


46,182 


.8 


66.610 


.9 


61,458 


.7 








147,840 


2.7 


222,639 


3.0 


203.823 


2.5 








51.041 


.9 


167,612 


2.2 


260.260 


3.2 










435,769 


26.3 


1,857,042 


34.4 


2,735.076 


36,5 


3,095.020 


37.9 




270.535 


16.3 


1,270,677 


23.5 


1,810.900 


24.2 


1,831,091 


22.4 


All Other (includes Women's 


















Army Corps. Warrant and 


















Flight Officers, and No 




















83,391 


5.0 


333,252 


6.2 


485,451 


6.5 


477,758 


5.9 


TOTAL : 


1.657.157 


lOO.O 


5.400,888 


100.0 


7,482.434 


100.0 


8.157.386 


100.0 



Soitrce: "Strength of the Army," prepared monthly by Machine Records Branch, AGO. 

* Armored. Tank Destroyer, and Antiaircraft were not reported as separate arms. Because of inclusion of these 
specialties in the basic ground arms, exact breakdown of the ground arms cannot be made. 

b This figure, at this date, includes perhaps 300,000 carried in the Troop Basis as "Hospital Population," most 
casualties occurring in the ground arms and to a less extent in the Air Corps, 

* Includes Army Nurse Corps .Dietitians, and Physical Therapists. 



ANNEX TO TABLE NO. 3 



CHART A Growth of the Army by Branch 



NUMBKR OF 
PERSONNEL 




SERVICES 



2,500,000 



2,000,000 



1.500,000 



1,000,000 



500,000 



AIR CORPS 




INFANTRY, CAVALRY, 
FIELD ARTILLERY, 

ARMORED, 
TANK DESTROYER 



COAST ARTILLERY. 
ANTIAIRCRAFT 



CHART B Percent of Each Branch in Total Army 

PERCENT 
40 




SERVICES 



INF. CAV, FA, 
ARMD, TD 

AIR CORPS 



CAC, AAA 



CHART C Rate of Growth of the Army by Branch 



NUMBER OF 
PERSONNEL 

3,200,000 



1.600,000 



800,000 



200,000 



100,000 














// 

// 







/ / 
/ / 
/ / 




\ 


1 / 

/ 

/ 

/ 

/ 




N 


/ 

f 

SLOPE 
PARALLEL 


OF LINE INDICATES RATE OF 
LINES INDICATE EQUAL RATI 


GROWTH 
ES OF GROWTH 



SERVICES 

INFANTRY, CAVALRY, 
FIELD ARTILLERY, 

ARMORED, 
TANK DESTROYER 



AIR CORPS 



COAST ARTILLERY, 
ANTIAIRCRAFT 



31 
DEC 41 



31 
DEC 42 



31 
DEC 43 



31 

MAR 45 



Source: Figura pluttcd in ill three charts ire thotc in Table Nu. }. 



INTERPJIETATIGN OF A, B. AND C 

1. The Air Corp and rhc Servicci expanded at the »ainc rate in 1W2 and 1941- 

2. Thit rate waa far nitirc rapid ihan the rate uf cxpaniiiMi uf ibc Gniund Armt. especially m 1942, 

1. Aftef )1 Decembef I W the Gruund Arms expanded nuw rapidly than othef clcmentt trf the Array, because with 
the intenti/kanim <>/ ^iwrtd combat in 1SM4 an iiKrcaicd number uf men in rhc Gruund Arms were curied as 
rcplaccmcnii ;ind as patients in hoipitali. 

4- The Coait Anillery Curps (maiAly antiairaafi) expanded mm rapidly than the uiherGruund Armrin 1942 and 
1943, specialty in 1943. when it capandcd a* ripidly aa the Air Corps and the Servient but cipaiuiuQ gave -way v» 
precipittwt decline in 1944 and 194). 



206 



ORGANIZATION OF GROUND COMBAT TROOPS 



Basis issued in July represented an increment, for units to be mobilized in 1942, 
of 851,536 men over the Troop Basis of January. Of this figure, 13 percent was 
for combat units in the Army Ground Forces, and almost two-thirds of this 13 
percent was for antiaircraft artillery/' 

It was generally agreed in the summer of 1942 that activations, especially 
of service units, were getting out of hand, "There is evidence," noted G-3, 
WDGS, on II June, "that in some cases sufficient forethought is not exercised 
to utilize units already provided for in the Troop Unit Basis." In order to 
build up their theaters, overseas commanders tended to request a great variety 
of useful but not indispensable special units; chiefs of branches wished to 
enlarge the usefulness of their branches to the Army; the War Department 
granted requests liberally, trusting in the judgment of the specialist or of the 
man on the spot. By September 1942 the authorized gross number of enlisted 
men per division had risen to 50,000, of which only 15,000 represented organic 
divisional strength.^^ Medical troops alone amounted to 3,500 per division in 
addition to the medical battalion organic in the division itself.^^ G-3, WDGS, 
in charge of the Troop Basis, observed that service units could not be cur- 
tailed unless American soldiers, like Japanese, would consent to live on rice.^^ 

The Manpower Crisis of the Summer of ig^i 

By 30 June 1942 the Army Ground Forces was short 162,505 men.^^ The 
War Department had proposed, on 11 June, that either units be kept pur- 
posely understrength while in training (the proposal rejected by the Army 
Ground Forces in March) or the activation of new units be slowed down,^* 

Understrength in training units was again described by the Army Ground 
Forces as "unsound." ^* The request for overstrength, as a reserve against cadre 

"Computed from WD Itr (C) AG 320.2 (7-3-42) MS-C-M, 18 Jul 42, sub: Unit Basis for Mob and 
Tng 1942, with other papers. 320.2/152 (C) (scp file). 

"WD memo (C) VVDGCT 320.2 (6-1 1-42) for CGs AGF, AAF, SOS, 11 Jun 42, sub: Tr Unit Basis 
1942. (2) AGF memo (S) for G-3 WD, 26 Jun 42, sub as above. Both in 320.2/1 (TB 42) (S). 
WD Gen Council Min (S), 26 Aug 42. 

^Ibid., 7 Sep 42. 

^Ibid,, 30 Jun 42. 

*^Memo (S) of Gen McNair for G-3 WD, 3 Aug 42, sub: Pers and Tng Status o£ Units of AGF. 
320.2/283 (S). 

WD memo (S) WDGCT 320.2 (6-1 1-42) for CGs AGF, AAF, SOS, 11 Jun 42, sub: Tr Unit Basis 
1942. 320.2/1 (TB 42) (S). 

^ AGF memo (S) for G-3 WD, 26 lun 42, sub: Tr Unit Basis 1942. 320.2/1 (TB 42) (S). 



MOBILIZATION OF GROUND ARMY 



207 



losses and general attrition, was repeated." The request was granted in Septem- 
ber, when the War Department empowered the three major commands tc 
authorize a 15 percent enlisted overstrength to such units as they might desig- 
nate.^ Overstrength, if actually attained (not merely authorized), was a pro- 
tection against attrition for those units which received it. But it offered no general 
solution. Insofar as some units received an overstrength, one of three things had 
to happen: either some units had to be abnormally short, or fewer units had to 
be activated, or more men had to be inducted. 

During June and July 1942, AGF and SOS officers considered the slowing 
down of the Activation Schedule. They discovered that representatives of each 
arm and service advised deceleration in other branches than their own. General 
McNair concluded that neither the Army Ground Forces nor the Services of 
Supply had sufl&cient knowledge of over-all requirements to judge conflicting 
claims. He urged that the War Department General Staff assume a firmer 
control over the Troop Basis.^^ He recommended deferment of the 97th Division, 
scheduled for activation in December 1942, as a means of obtaining personnel 
to refill the depleted older divisions.^^ The War Department approved this 
recommendation in August. 

Further deceleration of the Activation Schedule at this time, postponing 
the units due for activation in July and August, would have reduced the shortages 
which were accumulating in the Ground Forces and would have made possible 
more effective training. But General McNair believed it dangerous at this time 
to slow down the mobilization of combat troops. He recommended instead a 
speeding up of inductions through Selective Service. In July the 2d Cavalry 
Division was partially inactivated, and the personnel were used to fill up the 9th 
Armored Division,^® Although the plan for an immediate invasion of western 
Europe was abandoned on 25 July, it was not easy to defer activations; for an 
infantry division there was a preactivation process extending over three months, 
and involving hundreds of ofl&cers and over 1,000 enlisted cadremen. Once started, 

"AGF memo (S) for G-3 WD, 9 Sep 42, sub: Pcrs and Tng Status of Units of AGF. 320.2/283 (S). 

"WD Itr (R) AG 320.2 (9-10-42) MS-C-M to CGs AGF, AAF, SOS, 11 Sep 42, sub: Policies Con- 
cerning Mob. 320.2/80 (R), 

" AGF memo (S) for G-3 WD, 18 Aug 42, sub: Revision of Activation Schedule. 320.2/263 (S). 

"AGF memo (S) for G-3 WD, 24 Jul 42, sub: Modification of Tr Basis 1942. 320.2/2 (TB 42) (S), 

" (i) Memo (S) of Gen McNair for G-3 WD, 3 Aug 42, sub: Pers and Tng Status of Units of AGF. 
320.2/283 (S). (2) Information furnished by Orgn and Directory Sec, Opns Branch, Opns and Tng Div, 
TAGO. 



208 



ORGANIZATION OF GROUND COMBAT TROOPS 



this process could not be stopped without excessive waste and confusion. The 
War Department, unable to foresee the operations of Selective Service, and 
assigning inductees in large numbers to the Air Forces and the Services of 
Supply, could never accurately predict, three months in advance, how many 
inductees would be available to divisions and other AGF units on their dates 
of activation. The Army Ground Forces therefore proceeded with activations 
called for in the Troop Basis. New units were created, men failed to appear, and 
shortages mounted.^** 

By September 1942 the Ground Forces were short 330,000 men, or over 
30 percent of authorized unit strength. (See the [chart on p. 22^\ ) The Air 
Forces were short 103,000, or 16 percent; the Services of Supply 34,000, or 5 
percent. Shortages in the Ground Forces threatened to make proper training 
impossible.*^ 

Change of War Plans 

By this time the plan for an early attack on western Europe had been 
given up. An invasion of North Africa was being prepared, but major oper- 
ations by United States ground troops were deferred to an undetermined but 
relatively distant date. Meanwhile the offensive against Germany was to be 
conducted chiefly by aviation. 

In September 1942 a conference on personnel shortages was held at the 
War Department.^ The Army Ground Forces expressed a desire to decelerate 
its Activation Schedule until its existing units were filled. The Army Air 
Forces and the Services of Supply opposed deceleration within their own 
commands. "It is presumed," reported the AGF representative on returning 
to the War College, "that AGF would postpone activations so as to make 
inductees available for AAF and SOS."" The War Department instructed 
each command to submit a list of "must units" for activation during the 
remainder of 1942. The Army Ground Forces included as "must units" only 

"AGF memo (R) for G-3 WD, 10 Oct 42, sub: Policies Concerning Mob. 320.2/80 (R). 

" Memo of Col Tate (Plans) for DCofS AGF, 7 Sep 42, sub: Rpt on Meeting Held under Supervision 
of G-3 WD on Pcrs Matters. 327.3/42 (LS). 

"WD memo (C) WDGCT 320.2 Activ (9-15-42) for CG AGF, 15 Sep 42, sub: Deferment in Activa- 
tion of Units. 320.2/205 (C). 

"Memo of Col Tate (Plans) for DCofS AGF, 21 Sep 42, sub: Rpt of G-3 WD Conference on Pers 
Matters. AGF Plans Sec file 185 (TB 41). 



MOBILIZATION OF GROUND ARMY 



209 



two tank destroyer brigade headquarters, to supervise the training of the large 
number of tank destroyer battalions already in existence, and two parachute 
infantry regiments to absorb the personnel already graduated or about to be 
graduated from the parachute school,^ Only these units, with a few others of 
small size, were activated by the Army Ground Forces at full strength in 
the last three months of 1942. Infantry and armored divisions tliat were 
planned for these months and that were too far along in the preactivation 
process to stop were activated at cadre strength only* Activations proceeded 
as planned in the Air Forces, except that certain Air Base Security Bat- 
talions (mostly Negro organizations) were deleted. Activation of SOS units 
continued " 

In September the President approved another increase, this time of 650,000, 
in inductions for 1942, raising the authorized enlisted strength of the Army by 
the end of the year to ^fioofioo,^^ About a million and a half men were pro- 
vided by Selective Service in the last four months of the year. Those received 
by the Army Ground Forces were used mainly to fill shortages in units activated 
before September and to bring certain units to the newly authorized 15 percent 
overstrengths. By March 1943 the actual and authorized strengths of the Army 
Ground Forces virtually balanced. But freedom from shortages proved to be 
temporary." 

Summary of Mobilization in 1^42 

At the close of 1942 the Army could look back on a year of unprecedented 
expansion. Almost 4,000,000 men had been added during the year, actual 
strength (including officers) having risen from 1,657,157 to 5,400,888. Thirty- 
seven new divisions had been called into being. Seventy-three were in existence, 
The pressure of growth had repeatedly broken through the plans of the Troop 
Basis. Growth had been uneven and inadequately controlled because of inherent 
difficulties in planning during a period of chaotic expansion and also because 
of fluctuations in strategic objectives at the highest level. 

'* AGF memo (S) for G-3 WD, 23 Sep 42, sub: Activations, Priorities, and RTC Pool, 320.2/352 (S). 

" (i) WD memo (S) WDGCT 320.2 Activ (9-28-42) for CGs AAF, AGF, SOS, 28 Sep 4a, sub: 
Activation of Units in Oct 1942. AGF Plans Sec file 185. (2) Same for units to be activated in November 
and December 1942. 320,2/395 (S). (3) WD Gen Council Min (S), 21 Sep and 23 Nov 42. 

*■ WD Gen Council Min (S), 7 Sep 42. 

" See thcl chart on p. 224.1 



210 



ORGANIZATION OF GROUND COMBAT TROOPS 



TABLE NO. 4 

Mobilization After ig^z: Enlisted Strength 
(In Thousands) 



CATEGORY 


Mobilized 

OD 

31 Dec 42 


Mobilized 

on 
30 Apr 45 


Added 
after 
1942 


Percent 
Increase 
of Each 
Elemeat 


Percent 
of Total 
Increase 
Received 
by Each 
Element 




1,056 
861 


1.125 
916 


69 
55 


6.5 
6.4 


2.9 
2.3 


1.917 
243 


2,041 
461 


124 
218 


6.5 
89.7 


5.2 
9-1 


2,160 

518 
(761) 

1,300 

(1.022) 


2,502 

1.102 
(1,563) 

1.954 

1.847 


342 

584 

(802) 

654 

(825) 


15.8 

110.8 
(105.7) 

50.3 

81.0 


14.3 

24.3 
(33.4) 

27,1 

34.3 


TOTAL 


5,000 


7,405 


2.405 


48.1 


100.0 



la addition to a net growth of 2.405,000 in enlisted men shown above, the Army experienced a net growth of 
approximately 470,000 in commissioned and warrant officer personnel in this period. Such personnel numbered 
885.658 on 30 April 1945. making an aggregate Troop Basis strength of 8,290,993. Only enlisted figures are 
shown in the above table because they are the only figures available for 31 December 1942. 



Distribution of strength within the Army shifted greatly i n 1942, more so 
than in any subsequent year of the war. (See [Table No. 3J with Annex.) At the 
beginning of 1942 the Infantry, Cavalry, Field Artillery and Coast Artillery 
(branches which included tank, tank destroyer, and antiaircraft personnel) con- 
stituted 52 percent of the Army, the service branches 26 percent, and the Air 
Corps 16 percent. By the end of 1942 the figures were respectively 36, 37, and 
24 percent. At the beginning of 1942 there were two soldiers in the ground arms 
for every one in the service branches, at the end of 1942 only one. During 1942 
the ground arms more than doubled, but the service branches and the Air Corps 
multiplied more than fourfold. The Air Corps constituted only a part, though 
by far the largest part, of the Army Air Forces, in which elements of the service 
branches were also included. 



MOBILIZATION OF GROUND ARMY 211 

TABLE NO. s 

Ground Combat Units Mobilized Ajter ig^z 









Added 


UNITS 


on 


on 


after 


3 1 Dec 42 


30 Apr 45 


1942 


Divisions 










56 


*67 


11 




14 


16 


2 




2 


5 


3 










TOTAL 


72 


88 


16 


NondiTisional Battalions 










32 


137 


105 




53 


113 


60 




57 


76 


19 




142 


326 


184 




69 


224 


155 




26 


62 


36 



Source: Troop Bases of 23 February 1943 and 1 May 1945 (S). 
For basis of computation of Table No. 4, see above, 
"Ground Forces in the Armrp December 1941-April 1945: a Statistical Study." 

'Includes one mountain division. 

These units were add ed with a net increase of 124,000 enlisted men for combat units of the Army Groond 
Forces after 1942. (See [Table No. 4.fc Addition of so many combat units with so little increase of total combat 
strength was made possible by inactivation of combat units of other types (antiaircraft, tank destroyer, coast 
artillery, and nondivisional infantry) aod by reduction of unit Tables of Orsanization. 



In the long run, tlie total authorized strength of ground comba t units 
increased very little after 1942— by only 6.5 percent. (See Table No. 4.) Many 
units were added (see Table No. 5), but other units were dissolved. The number 
of oflScers and men in the combat arms other than Coast Artillery increased 
materially after 1942, but most of these went to fill shortages in units, or into the 
rising population of replacement centers, hospitals, etc., rather than to increase 
the total strength of combat imits* 



III. The 1943 Army 



Planning began in the spring of 1942 for the augmentation of the Army 
to take place in 1943/ The Operations Division of the War Department 
General Staff wished to add 67 divisions in 1943 and 47 in 1944, bringing 
the total of divisions to 140 at the close of 1943 and 187 at the close of 1944.* 
The figures were admittedly very tentative. The Army Ground Forces in 
May 1942 pronounced such a program capable of accomplishment — before 
the rapid activations of the summer of 1942 raised the gross number of men 
per division to 50,ooa^ G-3, WD, expressed the belief that only 37 divisions 
should be added in 1943, in view of limitations on shipping and construction, 
and the undesirability of withdrawing men from industry and agriculture 
too long before they could be employed in military operations. The G-3 figure, 
involving a total of no divisions by the end of 1943, was accepted as the 
basis of further discussion.^ 

In July and August 1942 the War Department instructed the three major 
commands to make detailed proposals for the 1943 Troop Basis.' The main 
outlines were prescribed, although no figure on the total size of the 1943 

*Thc preceding study, "Ground Forces in the Army, December ig4i-ApriI 1945: a Statistical Study," 
provides essential evidence for the remainder of the present study, which in turn provides a narrative 
explanation for the facts shown by the tabic; this table offers a synopsis of mobilization from the drafting 
of the 1943 Troop Basis to the close of the war in Europe. 

*WD memo (S) OPD 320.2 (5-10-42) (2-12-42) for G-3 WD, 23 May 42, sub: Major Tr Unit 
Requirements for 1942, 1943, and 1944. 320.2/ 190 (S). 

' AGF memo (S) for OPD, 28 May 42, sub as above. 320.2/190 (S). 

* (i) WD mcmb G-3/6457-448 for CofS USA, 5 Feb 42, sub: Augmentation of the Army for Calendar 
Year 1943 (with "OK-GCM"). GHQ Records, 320,2/1242. (2) WD Gen Council Min (S), 9 June 42. (3) 
Memo (S) of Col Parks (DCofS AGF) for G-3 AGF, 10 Jun 42, sub: Tr Basis for 1943. 320.2/210 (S). 

■ (1) WD Iir (S) AG 320.2 (7-17-42) GS-C-M to CGs AGF. AAF, SOS, 21 Jul 42, sub; Tr Basis 
1943- 320.2/2 (TB 43) (S). (2) Memo (S) of G-3 WD for CG AAF, 22 Jul 42, sub: AAF Program, 1942. 
320.2/118 (AAF) (S). (3) WD Itr (S) AG 320.2 (8-27-42) MS-C-M to CGs AGF, AAF, SOS, 28 Aug 
42, sub: TB 1943' 3^0*2/3 (TB 43) (S). 



MOBILIZATION OF GROUND ARMY 



Army was yet given, A total of 2,000,000 enlisted men was allotted to the 
Army Air Forces. The capacity of officer candidate schools was raised to 
73,000. The Army Ground Forces was to organize about no divisions by 31 
December 1943, to increase the Antiaircraft Artillery to 610,000, and to aug- 
ment the strength of other arms by certain specified percentages, which in all 
cases were less than the percentage increase of Antiaircraft Artillery. Brig Gen* 
Idwal H. Edwards, G-3, WDGS, noting that Germany had some 300 divisions 
and the Japanese probably 90, observed that the diversion of American mili- 
tary manpower to noncombat functions should be checked, that the Army in 
1943 should undergo "a complete revamping," and that the gross number 
of men required per division should be reduced from 50,000 to 33,000 by 
1944.* In this way he hoped that 141 divisions might be organized by the 
end of 1944. As it turned out, at that time there were only 89 divisions in 
the U. S. Army, of which the aggregate strength (not counting the Air 
Forces) was then approximately 5,700,000 — showing a ratio of over 60,000 
per division. 

The Army Ground Forces submitted its detailed proposals on 30 Septem- 
ber 1942.^ A total of 114 divisions was recommended. Because of the inclusion 
of airborne and light divisions, the net divisional strength remained within 
the figure prescribed by the War Department. Recommendations for non- 
divisional units exceeded the allotments made by the War Department. The 
aim of the Army Ground Forces was to assure the mobilization of a balanced 
force, in which nondivisional troops, such as medical units, engineer battal- 
ions, ordnance maintenance companies, tank battalions, and military police, 
should be in a proper proportion to each other and to the number of divisions. 
The "type" army and "type" corps, formerly used as yardsticks to secure 
proper proportions, had been abandoned. For each type of unit the Army 
Ground Forces adopted instead a ratio per division based on anticipated 
requirements of operations. The strength of nondivisional combat units 
("combat support") obtained by application of these ratios exceeded the War 
Department allotment by 122,092 men. It was mainly in heavy artillery, tanks, 
tank destroyers, mechanized cavalry, and nondivisional infantry that the AGF 
estimate of requirements for combat support exceeded that of the War Depart- 
ment. Recommendations for nondivisional service units ("service support") 

' WD Gen Council Min (S), 26 Aug 42. 

' AGF Itr (S) to TAG, 30 Sep 42, sub: TB 1943. 320.2/4 (TB 43) (S). 



214 



ORGANIZATION OF GROUND COMBAT TROOPS 



had been arrived at in conference between the Army Ground Forces and the 
Services of Supply. Exact demarcation had not yet been made between types 
of service units which the Army Ground Forces and the Services of Supply 
were to activate and train. Duplication and overlapping resulted. The recom- 
mendation for service support exceeded the War Department allotment by 
385,752. The total excess was about 500,000. 

These proposals were submitted with reservations. The Army Ground 
Forces recommended that if cuts were necessary they be made in armored and 
motorized rather than in infantry and airborne divisions, that reductions be 
made proportionately so as to maintain forces in balance, and that the whole 
question of service troops be reexamined. "Precise data," wrote the Chief of 
Staff, AGF, "as to the total personnel engaged in the services in the entire 
United States Army are not available to this headquarters for analysis. How- 
ever, from the general information at hand, it appears that over-all production 
of services to combat forces is grossly excessive; and some definite measures to 
control the dissipation of manpower to these non-combatant functions must 
be instituted at once." ^ 

The reconunendations of the Army Air Forces, like those of the Army 
Ground Forces, exceeded the allotment made in August. At that time the War 
Department had allotted 2,000,000 men. The Air Forces now asked for 
2,330,000. 

Reduction of the AGF Program: the loo-Division Army 

September and October of 1942 marked a turning point in the develop- 
ment of the Army. Hitherto the tendency had been toward rapid expansion 
of all parts of the military establishment. Now a more exact consideration of 
choices was made necessary by various facts of strategy, logistics, manpower, 
and supply. 

When the plan for an early invasion of western Europe was given up, the 
need of mobilizing a large ground army became less immediate. Air power 
was to be developed first. Shipping estimates in September 1942 indicated that, 
at most, 4,170,000 troops could be shipped overseas by the end of 1944 and 
that, if the prevailing high rate of shipping losses continued, the number might 
not greatly exceed 3,000,000. If an air force of 1,000,000 men were placed over- 



■ Ibid., par 6. 



MOBILIZATION OF GROUND ARMY 



215 



seas (as was now suggested), the number of divisions overseas by the end 
of 1944 would be 88 by the most liberal estimate, and only 61 if shipping 
losses continued * A year being allowed to train a division, it seemed premature 
to mobilize many more than 88 divisions by the end of 1943, As it turned out, 
the number of troops overseas on 31 December 1944 was 4,933,682, well above 
the highest estimate of 1942; this number included an air force of over 1,000,000 
but only 80 divisions, though the 9 divisions remaining in the United States on 
31 December 1944 were being rushed to Europe to bolster American forces 
depleted, by the German breakthrough in the Ardennes. 

In October 1942 the chairman of the War Production Board announced 
that the procurement program of the Army, the Navy, and the Maritime Com- 
mission for 1943, totaling $93,000,000,000, could not be met. He set the maxi- 
mum at $75,000,000,000. The Joint Chiefs of Staff revised procurement plans for 
1943 downward to $80,000,000,000/* Emphasis was kept on the aircraft program. 
The allotment of funds to aviation (military and naval) exceeded the combined 
allotments to the rest of the Army and Navy. Distribution was as follows: 



Procurement Program for ig4^ 





Pmmt 


Nttt Tttal 




Reduced 


(in Billioiu) 


Army Ground Program 


21.0 


$14.8 


Army Construction (less airfields) 


31.0 


2.2 


Navy Program 


18.0 


11.8 


Navy Construction (less airfields) 


4.2 


1.1 


Aircraft Program (including airfields) 


10.1 


33.3 


Merchant Shipbuilding 


22.2* 


4.4 


Lend Lease and U. S. S. R. Protocol 


18.1 


8.6 


Miscellaneous 


7.1 


3.9 


Total Procurement Program 


13.7 


80.1 



•Increase. 

In the Army Ground Program reductions were heaviest in the procurement 
of antiaircraft and antitank guns, tanks, mortars, and heavy artillery. 

■ (1) WD rncmoXS) WDGCT 320.2 Gen (9-2-42) for CGs AGF, AAF> SOS, 2 Sep 42, sub: Mob 
PUn, 1943. 320.2/4 (TB 43) (S). (2) Memo (S) of Joint Chiefs of Staff for the President* 30 Sep 42, sub 
not given. 320.2/381 (S). (3) WD ntemo (S) WDGCT 320.2 Gen (10-25-42) for CGs AGF, SOS, 29 Oct 
42, sub: TB 1943- 320.2/5 (TB 43) (S). 

" (i) Memo (S) JCS 134/3, 26 Nov 42, with Annex A and other papers, sub: Rpt of Joint StaH Plan- 
ners. 040/8 Joint Chiefs (S). (2) Rpt (R) of the ASF for Fiscal Year 1943, p. 19. 



2l6 



ORGANIZATION OF GROUND COMBAT TROOPS 



The President authorized in October 1942 a total of 7,500,000 enlisted 
men for the Army (with oflSccrs, an army of about 8,200,000) by the end of 
1943/^ It seemed probable that this would remain the permanent ceiling on 
the strength of the Army. The Director of the Budget wished to defer the 
attainment of this ceiling to 30 June 1944, limiting the Army for 1943 to 
6,500,000 enlisted men," but the War Department obtained confirmation of 
the authorization of 7,500,000 for 1943." It was desired to proceed with a 
rapid rate of mobilization, even though the need for combatant ground forces 
was less immediate than before, since it was believed that, with maximum 
over-all strength reached by the end of 1943, more divisions might be organ- 
ized in 1944, if desired, by transfer of personnel within the Army." 

The net result of these considerations was that the War Department 
decided to mobilize by the end of 1943 a ground army of only 100 divisions. 
Fourteen divisions with supporting units were cut from the recommendations 
of the Army Ground Forces. This represented a reduction in planned strength 
of ground troops of about 450,000 below the War Department allotments of 
August. The recommendations of the Army Air Forces were met in part, 
the August allotment being raised from 2,000,000 to 2,200,000, which was 
130,000 less than the Air Forces requested." 

In deleting 14 divisions from the proposed 1943 Troop Basis die War 
Department hoped to obtain a manpower reserve, which experience with mo- 
bilization in 1942 had shown to be desirable. In 1942 it had been impossible to 
foresee all requirements. Units had been activated which were not in the Troop 
Basis and for which therefore no personnel was earmarked in advance; the 
diversion of manpower to these unanticipated units had produced shortages 
throughout the Army, It was desired to have, in 1943, a pool or reserve of 
500,000 not required in advance for planned and scheduled units. Hence the 
number of planned and scheduled units had to be kept down; the most con- 
venient units to delete, given the state of strategic plans, shipping, and the pro- 

" WD Gen Council Min (S), 12 Oct 42. 

"AGF M/S (S), Plans to DCofS. 6 Nov 42, sub: Contemplated Reduction of Tr Basis. AGF Plans 
file 185 (TB 42) (S). 

"Memo of Gen Marshall for Gen McNair, 12 Nov 43. AGF Plans Sec file 185 (Victory Program TB). 
" WD memo (S) WDGCT 320,2 Gen (u-24-42) to CGs AGF and SOS, 24 Nov 42, sub: Tr Unit Basis 
1943. AGO Records, 330.2 (14 Jul 42) (36) Sec 1 (S). 

"WD memo (S) WDGCT 320.2 Gen (10-25-42) for CGs AGF, SOS, 19 Nov 42, sub: TB 1943. 

320.3/5 (TB 43) (S). 



MOBILIZATION OF GROUND ARMY 



217 



duction of equipment, were divisions and other ground combat units.^® As it 
turned out, the reserve of some 500,000 obtained by dropping these units was 
not available for unforeseen requirements in 1943, for before the end of 1942 
130,000 were set aside for the Army Air Forces, 150,000 for the Women's Army 
Corps, and 150,000 for the Army Specialized Training Program, In numbers 
involved, that is, in the room provided for them under the fixed ceiling of 
Army strength, any one of these was the equivalent of the unit strength of 10 
divisions. 

The approved Troop Basis of 1943, calling for a loo-division Army with 
an enlisted strength of 7,533,000, was issued to the major commands on 25 
November 1942." Enlisted strength proposed for ground combat units was 
2j8i 1,000. Breakdown of this strength was regarded at Headquarters, Army 
Ground Forces, as unbalanced. Antiaircraft strength remained at over 600,000, 
not having been reduced in proportion to reductions in other arms or in antici- 
pation of the growth of American air power. More armored divisions were 
retained than were believed appropriate by the Army Ground Forces in relation 
to infantry. The Army Ground Forces desired more tank destroyers, more non- 
divisional tank battalions (for employment with infantry divisions), more heavy 
artillery, and more separate infantry regiments, whose use in certain tasks might 
prevent the dismemberment of infantry divisions that had occurred in 1942,^^ 

It was hoped by the Army Ground Forces that additional units of these 
types might be formed through transfers of personnel made surplus "through 
certain economies which the War Department had ordered. 

Reduction of Tables of Organization and Equipment 

To save personnel and equipment, the War Department not only reduced 
the number of units in the Troop Basis but also sought to reduce the size of 
individual units and overhead estabhshments within each of the three prin- 
cipal commands. Units were in general controlled by Tables of Organization 
and Equipment, overhead establishments by special allotments in each case. 

" (i) Ibid. (2) WD memo (S) WDGCT 320.2 Gen (11-2-42) for CofS USA, 2 Nov 42. sub: Unit 
Basis 1943, with concurring memo (S) of G-i WD for G-3 WD, 7 Nov 42. AGO Records, 320.2 (14 Jul 
42) (36) Sec I (S). 

"WD memo (S) WDGCT 320.2 Gen (11-24-42) for CGs AGF and SOS, 24 Nov 42, sub: TUB 
1943. AGO Records, 320.2 (14 Jul 42) (36) Sec i (S). 

" (i) AGF memo (S) for G-3 WD, 29 Oct 42, sub as above. 320,2/5 (TB 43) (S). (2) WD memo (S) 
WDGCT 320.3 Gcu (10-25-42) for CG AGF, 19, Nov. 42, sub as above. 320.2/5 (TB 43) (S). 



2l8 



ORGANIZATION OF GROUND COMBAT TROOPS 



The War Department hoped in January 1943, by reduction both of Tables of 
Organization and of overhead allotments, to recover 750,000 men by 1944 and 
to use this manpower to increase the number of tactical units of the Army 
by 20 percent; this would obtain in 1944, still within the 7,500,000 enlisted 
ceiling, a force of 120 to 125 divisions with supporting troops/* Some of the 
750,000 men to be saved would come from reduction of individual units in 
size, and thus, while addmg to the number of units, would not increase the 
number of men in units. Some of the 750,000 were to be used to form units 
of service, not combat, types. If only 200,000 had been added to the strength 
of 2,811,000 then carried in the Troop Basis for ground combat units, the en- 
listed strength of ground combat units in 1944 would have exceeded 3,000,000. 

Tables of Organization had been thought for some time to be too liberal 
in providing men, vehicles, and accessories not necessary to a unit in the dis- 
charge of its mission. On 2 October 1942, as the need for economy became 
urgent, the War Department directed the three major commands to prepare 
downward revisions of their respective tables,^° Significant economies were 
obtained. The infantry division, for example, even after some of the cuts pro- 
posed by the Army Ground Forces were restored by the War Department, 
was reduced from about 15,500 to about 14,000. Hence for every nine divisions 
under the old tables ten could be obtained under the new. In some types of 
nondivisional units the cuts were proportionately greater. 

Overhead consisted for the most part of troops not organized in tactical 
units of the field forces but absorbed in nontactical headquarters, training 
installations, and Zone of Interior establishments. On 29 January 1943 the three 
major commands were directed to survey their overhead installations with a 
view to reduction.*^ Hitherto allotments to each AGF overhead installation had 
been made by the War Department. On 6 February 1943 the War Department 
undertook to make a bulk allotment for overhead to the Ground Forces, and 



" (1) WD memo (C) WDGCT 320 Gen (1-29-43) to CGs AGF, AAF, SOS, 29 Jan 43, sub: Reduction o£ 
Tng Establishments and other Zonc-of-Interior Activities. 320.2/262 (C). (2) WD memo (S) WDGCT.32o.a 
Oca (2-5-'43) for CofS USA, 5 Feb 43, sub: TB Planning, 320.2/575 (S). (3) WD memo (S) WDGCT 320.2 
Gen (2-25-43) to G-i, G-4, OPD, AGF, AAF, SOS, 25 Feb 43 j sub as above, 320.2/18 (TB 43) (S). 

" (i) WD lir (S) AG 400 OB-S-C to CGs AGF, AAF, SOS, 2 Oct 42, sub: Review of Orgn and 
Equipment Requirements. 320.2/383 (S). (2) For the compliance of Army Ground Forces with this 
directive see below j "Reorganization of Ground Troops for Combat.". 

**WD memo (C) WDGCT 320 Gen (1-29-43) for CGs AGF, AAF, SOS, 29 Jan 43, sub: Reduction 
of Tng Establishmcnu and Other ZI Activities. 320.2/262 (C), 



MOBILIZATION OF GROUND ARMY 



219 



General McNair received authority to suballot personnel to overhead estab- 
lishments as he saw fit,^^ 

Overhead in the Army Ground Forces in the spring of 1943, as calculated 
at that time, consisted of some 80^000 officers and enlisted men.^^ It comprised 
4 percent of the total strength of the Army Ground Forces. It v^^as mainly con- 
centrated in the service schools, the trainer personnel of replacement training 
centers, and the headquarters of the Armored Force, the Antiaircraft Command, 
the Replacement and School Command, and other such non tactical establish- 
ments. At the headquarters of the Army Ground Forces there were about 260 
officers and 750 enlisted men. General McNair believed that during 1943, with 
the training program at its peak and with the prospect for 1944 of training 20 
percent more tactical units than were specified in the 1943 Troop Basis, little if 
any saving of AGF overhead would be possible. He imposed close restrictions on 
subordinate commands.^^ Overhead was somewhat reduced through reorganiza- 
tion of the Armored Force, the Airborne Command, and the Tank Destroyer 
Center .^^ But it was clear that if the War Department wished to make extensive 
recoveries from overhead it would have to look almost entirely to other elements 
of the Army than the Ground Forces. 

In January 1943 the War Department created a Manpower Board under 
the presidency of Maj. Gen. Lorenzo D. Gasser. G-3, WDGS, pointed out to 
General Gasser various possible sources of manpower savings, including ord- 
nance, signal and transportation troops, ports of embarkation, the Alcan High- 
way, the defense commands, replacement training centers, medical personnel 
designed to remain permanently in the United States, Zone of Interior military 
police, AAF hotel schools, and headquarters organizations in the Army Air 
Forces and the Services of Supply.^® General McNair told General Gasser of his 
belief that "the Services of Supply was very, very fat, particularly in head- 
quarters," and that the Manpower Board, since it would obtain voluntary 
reductions from no one, would have to institute thorough inquiries of its own.^^ 

° WD Itr (C) AG 320.2 (2-4-43) OB-I-SP to CG AGF, 6 Feb 43, sub: Suballotmcnt of Mil Pers for 
Overhead Installauons and Activities of AGF. 320.2/262 (C). 

^AGF memo (C) for G-3 WD, 17 Apr 43, sub: Reduction of Tng Establishments and Other ZI 
Activities. 320.2/262 (C). 

^ AGF Itr (C) to CGs, i Apr 43, sub: Economy of Manpower, 320.2/262 (C), 

"Sec below, p*Organizati on and Training of New Ground Combat Elements." | 

*WD memo (S) WDGCT 220 (1-21-43) for Maj Gen Gasser, sub: Possible Sources of Manpower 
Reductions in the Army. 320.2/575 (S). 

" (i) AGF M/S (S), CG to Plans, 23 Feb 43. AGF Plans Sec file 224 (S). {2) Memo of Gen McNair 
for Oofs USA, 2 Jan 43. 320.2/5761. 



220 



ORGANIZATION OF GROUND COMBAT TROOPS 



The principal savings obtained by the Army Ground Forces in 1943 came 
through reduction of T/O's of AGF units. With these reductions, a given num- 
ber of units in the AGF Troop Basis could be brought to full strength with 
less manpower than before or, conversely, a given amount of manpower allotted 
to the Army Ground Forces in the Troop Basis would produce a larger number 
of units. The aim of the reductions, in accord with the desire of both the War 
Department and the Army Ground Forces, was to place a larger percentage of 
the Army in combat positions. This aim was not realized. The need for increasing 
the number of combat units was not urgent in the first part of 1943, since more 
such units were on hand than were intended for early employment. Para- 
doxically, while General McNair labored to make possible a larger number of 
combat units, he was also laying plans to reduce the number of combat units 
to be mobilized in 1943. 

Further Deceleration and the AGF Pool Plan of April /p^j 

In the winter of 1942-43, divisions moved overseas less rapidly than had 
been expected. Hence they accumulated in the United States. In January the 
Activation Schedule for divisions was slowed down; three divisions planned 
for activation in May, June, and August were deferred to the last months of 
1943.^® On 5 February the War Department, foreseeing difficulty in meeting 
the 1943 Troop Basis, advised the Army Ground Forces that 10 of the 100 
divisions planned for 1943 might have to be deferred to 1944.^'' 

One difficulty was in obtaining sufficient equipment for training. Another 
was the crowding of housing facilities by retention of troops in the United States. 
The production both of equipment and of new housing for ground troops had 
been severely cut when the Joint Chiefs modified the procurement program.^^ 
In March 1943 it was also decided to furnish weapons of American manufacture 
to a French army of 250,000 men in North Africa.^^ The Allies thus obtained a 
large fighting force in a combat zone without having to ship personnel, but less 
equipment was available for American forces in training. Delay in providing 

"WD memo (C) WDGCT 320.2 Activ (1-16-43) to CG AGF, 16 Jan 43, sub: Schedule of Activation 
o£Divs,TB 1943. 320.2/15 (TB 43) (C). 

"WD memo (S) WDGCT 320.2 Gen (2-5-43) to CG AGF, 5 Feb 43. sub: Tr Basis Planning. 
520.2/575 (S). 

■"See AGF M/Ss (S) written between 10 Dec 41 and 27 Jan 43. 320.2/22 (TB 43) (S). 
"AGF M/S (S), Plans to CofS, 8 Mar 43. AGF Plans Sec file 185 (Victory Program TB) (S). 



MOBILIZATION OF GROUND ARMY 



221 



equipment, observed an AGF staff study, "will continue to be reflected in press 
comments on the training and 'inexperience' of United States troops in ac- 
tion .... The training lag occasioned by delayed distribution of equipment 
will cause every intelligent soldier to conclude that his induction was premature 
and chargeable to poor planning," 

At any rate the Army Ground Forces was not satisfied with the allowances 
of equipment and ammunition hitherto available for training. Since early in 
1942, divisions while in the United States had received only 50 percent of their 
authorized equipment in certain critical items, nondivisional units only 20 
percent. These partial allowances had been accepted by the Army Ground Forces 
as unavoidable during the early stages of rapid expansion. But shortcomings 
shown by American troops in combat in North Africa and the Southwest Pacific 
were attributed by the Army Ground Forces in large measure to lack of oppor- 
tunity to train with enough weapons and ammunition." 

On I March 1943 the Army Ground Forces proposed revisions of the pro- 
curement program to the War Department." It requested that full allowances of 
equipment be made available to nondivisional units by the fourth month of 
training and to divisions by the sixth month, thus permitting greater realism 
in combined training and maneuvers. It also asked that ammunition allowances 
be raised to the point where all personnel might qualify in the firing of their 
individual weapons. Finally, it requested that procurement be modified to 
correspond with AGF plans to increase, out of personnel saved by reduced 
T/O's, the number of certain types of units in the Troop Basis believed necessary 
to achieve balanced forces. These were chiefly heavy and medium artillery, tank 
battalions, nondivisional infantry, engineers, and tank destroyer and ordnance 
maintenance units. 

Negative replies were received to these proposals." The War Department 
held that no general change of the procurement program was practicable in 
the near future. Distribution of equipment as it left the production lines was 
in any case controlled by the Munitions Assignment Board. The War Depart- 
ment preferred that personnel saved by reduction of T/O's should revert to 

""Memo (S) of Col Winn (AGF Plans) for CofS AGF, lo Mar 43, sub: Revision of Victory Program 
TB. AGF Plans Sec file 185 (Victory Program TB) (S). 

■ ** AGF memo (S) for OPD, 1 Mar 43, sub: Victory Program TB. 320.2/22 (TB 43) (S). 
**OPD memo (S) 400 WMP (3-1-43) to CG AGF, 22 Apr 43, sub: Victory Program TB. 320.2/22 
(TB 43) (S). 



222 



ORGANIZATION OF GROUND COMBAT TROOPS 



the War Department reserve pool. This meant that it would be the War Depart- 
ment, rather than the headquarters of the Army Ground Forces, which decided 
what units should be added to the Troop Basis to achieve a proper balance of 
ground forces. In view of development of the bomber, staff officers of the War 
Department expressed doubt as to the need of increases of heavy artillery. Before 
authorizing additional tank battalions the War Department wished to see the 
results of the reorganization of the armored divisions then under consideration/^ 
AGF headquarters concluded that the most promising way to obtain the quantity 
of equipment judged necessary for units in training was to train fewer units 
in 1943. 

Supply of manpower also had to be considered. By March 1943 the shortages 
which aflflicted the Army Ground Forces in 1942 had been overcome. Units 
were generally at full strength and it was desired to keep them so; but at any 
moment the activation of new units, if not carefully checked against anticipated 
inflow of men, might again produce shortages of manpower with their ruinous 
effects on training^ Recalling the crisis of the preceding September, the Deputy 
Chief of Staff, AGF, on 11 February issued instructions that the staff must watch 
activations "like a hawk." " 

One danger was to receive too few men in proportion to the number of 
units activated. Another was to receive too many men, and have too many 
units, with respect to the dates at which they could be shipped. An officer of 
the War Department General Staff observed unofficially that the Army must 
reach maximum strength during 1943 for fear that, if it waited longer, the 
Navy would get the men first. The Chief of Staff, AGF, thought it better to 
take a chance on obtaining manpower when needed: 

War needs of our Army wc should be able to defend. We could not defend a situation 
where we had too many men away from other essential pursuits merely because we were 
afraid the Navy or other agencies would gobble them up. ... I believe in a reserve, but I 
believe that you could well keep that reserve in numbers [in civilian life] and not actually 
induct the men into the service until shipping indicates that we will be able to use them 
when they are trained, 

"Memo (S) of Col Winn, AGF Plans for CofS AGF, lo Mar 43, sub: Victory Program TB. 320.2/22 
(TB 43) (S). 

AGF M/S (S), DCofS to G-3, n Feb 43. 320.2/16 (TB 43) (S). 

AGF memo (S) for Col Argo, ACofS G-3 WD, 4 May 43, sub; Proposed Strength of Army, Plans 
file 185 (Victory TB) (S). 



MOBILIZATION OF GROUND ARMY 



223 



All these ideas came together in a proposal made by General McNair to 
the War Department on 14 April 1943 for a general revision of mobilization 
procedures in the Ground Forces. The aim was to control the Activation Sched- 
ule by relating it more closely to shipping capacities, receipt of equipment and 
manpower, time necessary for training, and types of units most immediately 
needed for a balanced mobilization.^® 

In this plan the Army Ground Forces was considered to be a pool of 
troops mobilized in the United States and awaiting employment in overseas 
operations. The size of the pool was to be 1,500,000 (the approximate strength 
of AGF tactical units at this time), and was to be maintained continuously at 
this level until some future date when the War Department, with transfer of 
troops to overseas theaters and the attainment of mobilization objectives, would 
allow the level of the pool in the United States to decline. Meanwhile activation 
of new units should be suspended when the pool rose to 10 percent above its 
prescribed level. To activate units beyond this point, explained General McNair, 
would make necessary more housing construction, tie up manpower unproduc- 
tively, spread training equipment too thinly among activated units, and result 
in having units go stale from remaining in the United States after the conclu- 
sion of their training. New units should therefore be activated only as old units 
were shipped. If shipments were less rapid than expected, activations would be 
slower. Units chosen for activation should be, not necessarily those set up in the 
initial 1943 Troop Basis, but those of the types judged necessary by the Army 
Ground Forces to obtain a proper balance of forces. 

To obtain the desired balance within a total of 1,500,000 the plan included 
recommendations, for each type of unit in the Army Ground Forces, of the 
exact number which should be added to or deleted from the existing Troop 
Basis of 1943. Units dropped from the 1943 program might, if desired, be acti- 
vated in 1944. The chief readjustments recommended were to drop 5 infantry 
and 4 armored divisions, adding 8 light divisions in their place, and to drop 38 
tank destroyer and 118 antiaircraft battalions, adding 21 tank battalions and 32 
battalions of heavy and medium artillery, together with certain engineer, signal, 
and quartermaster units of types which were used in close support of combat 
forces but which remained scarce in spite of the steady growth of the service 
branches. The total inductions needed to maintain a 1,500,000 pool, at the most 
favorable shipping rate, would be 102,000 less than were called for by the exist- 
ing Troop Basis. 

^ Memo (S) of Gen McNair for G- 3 WD, 14 Apr 43, sub: Modification of Mob Procedures. 381/177 (S). 



MOBILIZATION OF GROUND ARMY 



225 



Revision of the Military Program: the go-Division Army 

The War Department took no direct action on this plan. Instead, a Com- 
mittee on the Revision of the MiUtary Program was appointed in the War 
Department General Staff to consider, among other matters, the dangers of 
overmobilization. Meanwhile the Army Ground Forces continued to activate 
units under the existing Troop Basis* On 21 April the Army Ground Forces, 
calling attention to the pool plan submitted on 14 April, and anticipating 
difficulties in the receipt of personnel, lequested permission to defer the in- 
fantry division scheduled for activation in August. The War Department replied 
that no action would be taken on the AGF pool plan for over a month, 
and that meanwhile the preactivation process for the August division should 
be launched. The Chief of Staff, AGF, fearing a repetition in the summer of 
1943 of the personnel crisis of 1942, took care to place this decision of the War 
Department in the record/** On 14 May the War Department announced that 
the pool plan would probably be approved "in principle," and that inductees 
would in the long run suffice to fill AGF units.*^ In June 1943 shortages began 
to reappear." (See Chart.) 



The Committee on the Revision of the Military Program reported early 
in June. Since the year before, when the Operations Division, WDGS, had 
hoped for 140 divisions by the end of 1943, the strategical picture had greatly 
brightened. The German advance in Russia had been checked, and bombing 
of Germany from Great Britain was assuming larger proportions. It was de- 
cided to reduce the strength authorized for the Army by the end of 1943 
from 7,500,000 to 7,000,000 enlisted men. Ultimate size of the Army was to 
be determined later: "This will depend, to a large extent," observed the Com- 
mittee, "on the outcome of the Russo-German operations this summer and 
the effectiveness of the Combined-Bomber Offensive, the trends of which 
should be sufficiently apparent by early September to warrant a decision." *^ 



*• (i) AGF memo (C) for G-3 WD, 21 Apr 43, sub: Activation of Divs in August 1943. 381/41 (C). 
(2) WD memo (C) WDGCT 320.2 Activ (4-21-43) for CG AGF, 29 Apr 43, sub: Activation of Divs in 
Aug 43.381/41 (C). 

(0 Immediate Action AGF (C) memo for G-3 WD, 14 May 43, sub: Shortage of Enl Pers. (2) WD 
memo (C) WDGCT 220 (5-14-43) to CG AGF, 22 May 43, sub as above. Both in 320.3/36 (TB 43) (C), 
**See papers in 320.2/42 (TB 43) (C). 

** (i) Memo (S) of Committee on Revision of Mil Program for CofS USA, 7 Jun 43, sub: Revision of 
Current Mil Program. (2) WD memo (S) WDCSA (6-8-43) for G-i, G-3, G-4, OPD, AAF, AGF, ASF, 
8 Jun 43, sub as above. Both in 381/177 (S). 



226 



ORGANIZATION OF GROUND COMBAT TROOPS 



The Committee sought to obtain the 500,000 reduction almost entirely 
by deleting combat ground troops from the Troop Basis, It recommended the 
following changes in allotments: ** 



Troop Basis as of 31 December ig43 
(Enlisted Strengty) 





Former 


New 






Allotmcftf 


Motment 




Air Forces and Services 


2,200,000 


2,200,000 





Divisions 


1,422,918 


1,067,082 


355,836 


Nondiv Combat Units 


1,409,167 


1,308,248 


100,919 


Nondiv Service Units 


1,153,275 


1,196,981 


*43,706 


Overhead— U. S. 


503>000 


458,000 


45,000 


Overhead — Overseas 


60,000 


70,000 


*10,000 


Trainees in Replacement Tng Ctrs 


316,000 


288,000 


28,000 


Trainees in OCS 


42,000 


25,000 


17,000 


Trainees in Army College Program 


150,000 


150,000 





Office of Strategic Services 


5,000 


5,000 





Unassigned 


271,640 


235,689 


35,951 


TOTAL 


7.533,000 


7,004,000 


529,000 



'Increase. 



It was proposed that 12 divisions be deleted from the 1943 program, leaving 88 
to be mobilized. Over 350,000 men were to be taken from divisional strength, 
reducing divisional strength about 25 percent, an economy made possible in 
part by the deletion of 12 divisions, in part by the reduction of divisional Tables 
of Organization. Whether the 12 divisions should be restored to the Troop 
Basis in 1944 was to be decided later. From "combat support" (nondivisional 
combat units) only 100,000 were to be taken. The proportion of combat support 
to divisions was to be increased, with a larger allotment for heavy artillery and 
for tank battalions, as desired by General McNair. In antiaircraft artillery the 
committee proposed no significant reductions. Allotment for service troops con- 
tinued to grow. The gross number of men per division (not counting Air 
Forces) was about 55,ooo< 

General McNair was willing to check the growth of the Ground Forces, 
though his own proposals had been less drastic, but he viewed with disfavor an 

*• Memo (S) of Committee for DCofS USA, 13 Jun 43, sub: Tr Unit Basis 1943, 320.2/31 (TB 43) (S), 



MOBILIZATION OF GROUND ARMY 



227 



economy in which all cuts were applied to combat troops. "The proposed dis- 
tribution of manpower/' he wrote to the War Department^ "indicates a serious 
condition which warrants radical corrective action to effect the assignment of 
a much greater proportion of the manpower to units designed for offensive 
combat " " He noted that in the total ground forces intended for use against 
the enemy (3,642,311 men) only 29 percent was in divisions, whereas 36 per- 
cent was in combat support, 33 percent in service support, and 2 percent in 
theater overhead. He observed that almost half the combat support was anti- 
aircraft artillery, "even though a strong air force is provided to combat the 
hostile air forces," and that the service support did "not include essential field 
service units in sufficient numbers for the support of 88 divisions," being pre- 
dominantly in communications-zone troops. He recommended a complete re- 
orientation of the Troop Basis in the remainder of 1943 and in 1944 to provide 
a larger ratio of offensive combat troops, a cut of 180,000 in antiaircraft artillery, 
and the taking of measures, through economy of service troops in inactive 
theaters and in purely Zone of Interior functions, to assure that enough medical, 
ordnance, signal, and quartermaster units would be at hand to maintain the 
combat troops, most of which were still in the United States. 

On I July 1943 the War Department issued a new approved Troop Basis 
for 1943. It provided for 88 divisions and 7,004,000 enlisted men, but authorized 
somewhat more manpower to combat support, and somewhat less to service 
support, than the Committee had originally proposed. Two provisional light 
divisions were authorized. These soon received a permanent status. The new 
Troop Basis therefore projected, for 1943, a "90-Division Army." 

End of Expansion of Ground Forces 

The expansion of AGF tactical forces virtually terminated in the middle 
of 1943. The activation of 4 divisions in July and of 2 in August fulfilled 
the 90-division program. Thereafter no new divisions were organized and 
one, the 2d Cavalry Division, was inactivated overseas. Nondivisional units of 
AGF type continued to be activated through 1944; these included principally 
service units, but also certain types of combat units in large numbers, notably 
heavy artillery and combat engineers. But these activations were offset by in- 
activation of other units or by the decision not to activate units as planned. 

*Mcmo (S) of Gen McNair for DCofS USA, 22 Jun 43, sub as above. 330.2/31 (TB 43) (S). 



228 



ORGANIZATION OF GROUND COMBAT TROOPS 



Individual AGF units required less manpower after the middle of 1943 than 
previously because of reduction in Tables of Organization, New^ units v/trt 
added without increase of combined unit strength. When the war ended in 
Europe, T/0 strength of all AGF type units (2,502,000 enlisted men on 31 
March 1945) was about the same as for all AGF type units already mobilized 
on 30 June 1943 (2,471,000 enlisted men on that date). Combined strength 
of all AGF units of combat types only, in March 1945, was hardly greater than 
that of combat units already mobilized on 31 D ecember 1942, although many 
combat units were added after 1942. (See Tables Nos. 4 and [5] pp, 210-11.) 



It is important to keep in mind that, while the Army as a whole showed a 
net increase of almost 3,000,000 in 1943 and 1944, and while the combatant 
arms, as arms, continued to expand, the combined strength of combat units 
(other than the Air Forces) scarcely grew after 1942, and the combined strength 
of all AGF units, including service units, hardly grew after the middle of 1943. 

It was not intended in July 1943 that expansion of AGF unit strength should 
cease. The Troop Basis of i July 1943 allotted an enlisted strength of 2,822,000 
for all AGF units, both combat and service, by 31 December 1943. Cut from 
the corresponding allotment of 3,157,000 in the Troop Basis of November 

1942, the new figure represented a Troop Basis reduction of 335,000. But since 
only 2,471,000 were as yet mobilized on 30 June, the figure of 2,822,000 called 
for an increase of 351,000 in AGF units in the last six months of 1943. Since 
AGF units were at about the same T/O strength in March 1945 as in June 

1943, in the long run AGF units not only suffered a Troop Basis reduction 
of 335,000 on I July 1943 but also in net result failed to receive the increment 
of 351,000 which even the reduced Troop Basis of i July 1943 provided. 

Difficulty in meeting the i July Troop Basis was not long in becoming 
apparent. Inductions did not meet stated requirements. The 42d Division, 
activated in July, waited until September to receive enough personnel to begin 
basic training. The 65th Division, activated in August (the last infantry divi- 
sion to be activated), waited until January 1944 for the same purpose." It was 
this division whose activation the Army Ground Forces in the preceding April 
had proposed to defer. In general. Ground Force units in the United States, 
after a brief period at full strength in the spring of 1943, suffered from per- 
sonnel shortages until August 1944, despite continuing deletion of units from 
the mobilization program. 

AGF G-3 files, 333.1, for 426 and 65th Divs. 



MOBILIZATION OF GROUND ARMY 



229 



On 21 September 1943, having been short-shipped 26,710 men from recep- 
tion centers in August, the Army Ground Forces described its situation to the 
War Department.*^ Within the last few weeks, 10,817 men had been taken from 
infantry divisions as overseas replacements. Wholesale losses were occurring 
under liberal discharge policies recently adopted. Approximately 55,000 men 
had recently been transferred from the Ground Forces to the Army Specialized 
Training Program in the colleges. In the previous three months some 15,000 had 
been transferred to the Air Forces as aviation cadets. Hence shortages were 
spreading; newly activated units were short 75,000; even units alerted for over- 
seas movement were understrength. One expected source of personnel, the sur- 
pluses left by application of reduced Tables of Organization, would yield 
relatively little, because with units short under the old tables little surplus would 
be created by reorganization under the new tables. The Army Ground Forces 
therefore requested full shipment of newly inducted men. The War Department 
replied that some of the causes of shortage were temporary (as indeed they were, 
though new temporary causes seemed always to be appearing), and announced 
that the situation would soon be relieved by a reissue of the Troop Basis, in 
which the number of units to be mobilized by die Army Ground Forces would 
again be cut.** 

It had been planned in June to reexamine the mobilization program in 
September, after evaluation of the bomber offensive and the Russian summer 
campaign. A new Troop Basis was issued as of 4 October, again projecting the 
Army to 31 December 1943. Strength of combat-type units was cut by 190,000, 
AGF service units being somewhat increased. Despite the efforts of the Opera- 
tions Division, WDGS, to impose a ceiling on service units,*® about 125,000 en- 
listed men were added to forces of this type, of whom only 25,000 were for AGF 
service units designed for close association with combat troops. The fears felt 
at AGF headquarters came true ; largely for want of service troops the California- 
Arizona Maneuver Area and other maneuver areas were gradually shut down in 
the winter of 1943-44, to the considerable detriment of advanced training of 
combat troops, 

AGF memo (C) for G-i WD, 21 Sep 43, sub: Allocation of Reception Center Pers to AGF. 

327.3/13 (C). 

"WD memo (C) WDGAP 320.22 for CO AGF, 27 Sep 43, sub: Allocation of Reception Center Pcr» 
to AGF. 327.3/13 (C). 

OPD M/R (S), 24 Aug 43, sub: Percent of Serv Units in the Over-all TB. AGF Plans Sec file 185 (S). 



230 



ORGANIZATION OF GROUND COMBAT TROOPS 



The Troop Basis of 4 October slashed the tank destroyer program, and 
applied the major amputation desired by General McNair to the antiaircraft 
program. Units of these two arms were inactivated and their personnel con- 
verted to other branches, in which they were used, not so much to form new 
units, as to fill shortages in units in the United States or to furnish replace- 
ments for units overseas. The artillery objective, raised in the Troop Basis of 
r July, was now somewhat lowered; but activation of field artillery battalions 
had to be continued to meet even this more moderate aim, so small had been 
the artillery program in the earlier stages of mobilization. The combat engineer 
program was also cut. The program of 90 divisions for 1943 remained un- 
changed, all reductions in combat troops coming in nondivisional units, whose 
projected strength, per division, fell from about 15,270 in the Troop Basis of 
r July to about 13,000 in the Troop Basis of 4 October. 

In summary, the 4 October Troop Basis, the final form of the Troop Basis 
for 1943, dealt with the manpower shortage by reducing the requirement for 
ground combat troops. Whereas on 24 November 1942 it had been planned to 
have 2,811,000 enlisted men in ground combat units by the end of 1943, on 4 
October 1943 it was planned to have only 2,284,000, This figure was substan- 
tially realized. T/O enlisted strength of ground combat units active on 31 De- 
cember 1943 was 2,282,000. Actual strength was less, because of continuing 
shortages. T/O strength was to be further reduced in 1944 by inactivations. 



IV. The 1944—45 Army 



When the detailed drafting of a Troop Basis for 1944 took place, in the 
later months of 1943, the role of Headquarters, Army Ground Forces, in Troop 
Basis planning was very much diminished. During 1943 the overseas theaters 
had rapidly grown, especially the North African Theater of Operations, the 
European Theater of Operations, and the Southwest Pacific Area, The com- 
manding generals of these theaters estimated the size and composition of forces 
necessary for their respective missions. The Operations Division, WDGS, co- 
ordinating the activities of the theaters, mediating the requests of the theaters 
to the War Department, and scheduling the shipment of troops to theater com- 
manders, announced operational requirements as of successive future dates. 
G-3, WDGS, in charge of drafting the Troop Basis, followed chiefly the ex- 
pressed desires of the Operations Division. The Army Ground Forces was sim- 
ply requested, in the fall of 1943, to estimate what troops it would need in 1944 
for training overhead in the Zone of Interior. These overhead troops, plus 
Ground Force units called for by the Operations Division, plus replacements as 
determined by the War Department, constituted the Ground Force portion of 
the 1944 Troop Basis. The role of Headquarters, Army Ground Forces, was 
more than ever purely advisory.^ 

At the end of 1943 the War Department considered activating 15 new 
divisions in 1944 and reducing the allotment to the Army Air Forces to a 
figure in the neighborhood of 1,850,000 enlisted men. This would have given 
a total of 105 divisions, in place of the 120 or 125 which had been estimated 
early in 1943 (before total enlisted strength was cut from 7,500,000 to 7,000,000) 
as attainable in 1944. But the Air Forces at this time was developing its 
program for Very Long Range Bombers (B-29's). It was deemed impossible 
to reduce the Air Force allotment or to find the personnel for the new pro- 
gram by economies or conversions within Air Force organizations. To provide 
manpower for the B-29 program, and for certain lesser needs of the War 
Department, including continuation of the Army college program on a rc- 

* (i) WD memo (C) WDGCT 320 TB (21 Sep 43) for CGs AGF, ASF, AAF, 7 Oct 43, sub: TB 
1943-44. 320.2/52 (TB 43) (C). (2) Memo of G-3 WD for DCofS USA, 21 Sep 43, sub: Revised TB 1943. 
AGO Records, 320.2 (14 Jul 42) (36) Sec ib. (3) WD memo (C) WDGCT 320 TB (7 Oct 43) for CX3», 
7 Oct 43, sub: TB 1943-44. 320 2/55 (TB 43) (C). 



232 ORGANIZATION OF GROUND COMBAT TROOPS 

TABLE NO. 6 

Development of the Heavy Artillery Program, 
1942-44 



{Showing Number of Nondivisional Field Artillery Battalions in Successive Proposals) 



DAT£ 




HEAVY 


MEDIUM 


1 U 1 AL 


240>mm 
xiow. 


8-in. 
Gun 


8-in. 

■LJ _ 

now. 


15 5-mm 

GUD 


15 5-mm 

ricw. 


4^4-in. 
Gun 


1942 


(To be Active by H Dec 43) 
















30 Sep 


Recommeaded by AGF for 114 


9 


4 


16 


72 


120 


20 


241 




Divtsioos 
















23 Oct 


Recommeoded by G-3. WDGS, 


4 


4 


6 


40 


63 


16 


133 




for 100 Divisiooj 
















24 Nov 


TROOP BASIS APPROVED BY 


4 


4 


6 


40 


65 


16 


135 




WD FOR 100 DIVISIONS 
















31 Dec 


(73 Divisions Active oq This Date) 


(2) 


(0) 


(6) 


(24) 


(33) 


(0) 


(S3) 


194s 


















14 Apr 


Recommended by AGF for 99 


12 


4 


8 


48 


69 


26 


167 




Divisions 
















30 Jun 


(S4 Divisions Active on This Date) 


(3) 


(0) 


(13) 


(28) 


(36) 


(11) 


(HI) 


ljul 


TROOP BASIS APPROVED BY 


12 


4 


19 


42 


66 


16 


139 




WD FOR SS DIVISIONS 
















17 Jul 


Ideal Number Desired by AGF for 


36 


18 


90 


43 


133 


30 


354 




90 Divisions 
















4 Oct 


TROOP BASIS APPROVED BY 


12 





19 


40 


66 


12 


149 




WD FOR 90 DIVISIONS 


















(To be Active by 51 Dec 44) 
















28 Oct 


Tentative Troop Basis Drafted by 


12 





19 


30 


80 


12 


173 




WD for 105 Divisions 
















— Nov 


Recommended by AGF for 109 


21 





42 


50 


95 


12 


220 




Divisions 
















31 Dec 


(90 Divisions Active on This Date) 


(10) 


(0) 


(17) 


(34) 


(63) 


(12) 


(136) 


1944 


















15 Jan 


TROOP BASIS APPROVED BY 


15 


6 


42 


48 


93 


16 


222 




WD FOR 90 DIVISIONS 
















30 Jun 


(89 Divisions Active on This Date) 


(15) 


(7) 


(42) 


(32) 


(96) 


(16) 


(228) 




O'o be Active by 30 Jun 45) 
















1 Jul 


TROOP BASIS APPROVED BY 


23 


8 


64 


48 


96 


18 


257 




WD FOR 89 DIVISIONS 

















Sources: Same as for the cable in the preceding study* 
"Ground Forces in the Army, December 1941-April 1943.* 



duccd basis, and allowances for rotation of personnel between overseas stations 
and the United States, the idea of adding 15 divisions in 1944 was abandoned. 
The ground army would remain at 90 divisions.^ 



*Mcmo (S) of ADCofS USA for G-3 WD, 15 Jan 44, sub: TB 1944, 320.2/12 (TB 44) (S). 



MOBILIZATION OF GROUND ARMY 



TABLE NO. 7 

Ratios of Nondivisioncd to Divisional Field Artillery, 
30 June 1943-1 July ig^ 



(Number of Battalions, by Type, per Division) 



DATE 


RATIO 


HEAVY 


MEDIUM 


TOTAL 


240- 
mm 
How, 


8-in. 

GUQ 


8-in, 
How. 


155- 
mra 
Gun 


155- 
mm 
How. 


Gun 


30 Jun 43 


Actual Ratio of Active Battalions to 


.04 


.00 


.15 


.33 


.67 


.13 


1.32 




Active Divisions 
















17 Jul 43 


Ideal Ratio as Stated by AGF 


.40 


.20 


1.00 


.50 


1.50 


.33 


3.93 


28 Oct 43 


Ratio in Tentative 1944 Troop 


.11 


.00 


.18 


.48 


.76 


.11 


1.64 




BasisDraftedby WD 
















— Nov 43 


Minimum Ratio Adopted by AGF 


.20 


.00 


.40 


,40 


.90 


.20 


2.10 




for Troop Basis Flaaning 
















31 Dec 43 


Actual Ratio of Aaive Battalions to 


.11 


.00 


.19 


.38 


.70 


.13 


1.51 




Active Divisions 
















15 Jan 44 


Ratio tn Approved Troop Basis 


.17 


.07 


.47 


.53 


1.06 


.18 


2.48 


30 Jun 44 


Actual Ratio of Active Battalions to 


.17 


.08 


.47 


.58 


1.08 


.18 


2.56 




Active Divisions 
















1 Jul 44 


Ratio in Approved Troop Basis 


.26 


.09 


.72 


.54 


1.08 


.20 


2.89 



In nondivisional units the first tentative proposals of the War Department 
for the 1944 Army contemplated no extensive changes from the plans for 1943, 
except that more combat engineers and more artillery of the lighter calibers 
were to be organized, certain seacoast artillery units inactivated, and an addi- 
tional 125,000 enlisted men allotted to service units. 

Army Ground Forces r enewed, this time with success, its plea for more 
heavy artillery. (See Tables Nos> 6 [ and 7.) In 1942 and 1943 it had sought 
to have a considerable increase of heavy artillery incorporated in the 1943 
Troop Basis as necessary to the creation of a balanced force. In September 1942 
it had recommended loi battalions (armed with 240-mm., 8-inch, and 155-mm. 
guns), in addition to 140 battalions of medium artillery (4.5-inch gun and 
155-mm. howitzer) and the medium artillery organic in divisions.^ The War 
Department, reducing the number of medium battalions to 81, was willing at 
that time to authorize only 54 heavy battalions.* In April 1943 General McNair 
expressed his belief that "the amount of heavy artillery in the 1943 Troop 



■ AGF Itr (S) to TAG, 30 Sep 43, sub: TB 1943. 320.2/4 (TB 43) (S). 

* WD memo (S) WDGCT 320.2 Gen (11-24-42) for CGs AGF and SOS, 24 Nov 42, sub: TUB 1943. 
AGO Records, 320.2 (14 Jul 42) (36) Sec 1 (S). 



234 



ORGANIZATION OF GROUND COMBAT TROOPS 



Basis is . . . dangerously small if any major operations are to be undertaken 
by United States Troops prior to January 1945." He observed that "the pro- 
duction of such weapons is a slow process, involving an elapsed time of ap- 
proximately one year after the development is completed and the numerical 
requirement is established."'* After discussions with General Somervell, who 
shared his view, General McNair renewed his recommendation for an in- 
crease.' The War Department had been reluctant to plan beyond foreseeable 
strategic requirements, apparently influenced by a belief that the mission of 
heavy artillery could be performed in part by bombardment aviation/ But on 
I July 1943 it authorized an increase in the number of heavy battalions from 
54 to 77.* As late as i January 1944 only 61 were in fact active, some of them 
in very early stages of training,® When the Troop Basis for 1944, as proposed 
in October 1943, provided only small increases in heavy artillery, Headquarters, 
Army Ground Forces, returned to the charge, believing that both OPD and over- 
seas commanders had underestimated the amount of heavy artillery that would 
be needed in a major offensive. They appeared to be giving too much weight to 
the nature of ground operations hitherto engaged in by American forces. The 
War Department thereupon authorized an additional 30 battalions of heavy 
artillery, making a total of in/** Since the number of divisions had been cut to 
90, the proportion of medium and heavy artillery to divisional strength now 
came within the ratio which the Army Ground Forces had estimated as a 
necessary minimum, though still only two-thirds of the ratio which it regarded 
as ideal in a study published in July 1943/^ 

In April 1944 a special board of officers (Lucas Board) reviewed artillery 
requirements. Its recommendations were influenced by the operations at Cas- 
sino, Italy, which had indicated that reliance could not be placed on bombers 



' Par 5, AGF M/S (S), CofS to Plans Sec, 7 Apr 43. 320.2/22 (TB 43) (S). 

• (i) Memo (S) of Gen McNair for CO ASF, 12 Apr 43, sub: Heavy FA. 320.2/22 (TB 43) (S). (2) 
Memo (S) of Gen McNair for G— 3 WD, 14 Apr 43, sub: Modification of Mob Proceedings. 381/177 (S). 

'Memo (S) of Col Winn for CofS AGF, 10 Mar 43, sub: Revision of Victory Program TB, sum- 
marizing views expressed in conferences with WD stafl officers. AGF Plans Sec file 185 (S). 
' TB 1943, revision of i Jul 43 (S). 

* See column 13, line 44, of the tabic in ["Ground Forces in the Army, December 1941-April 1945:! a 
Stadsdcal Study," in this volume. 

" (i) TAB I to notes (S) by Col J. B. Sherman, Plans Sec, AGF, on WD tentative 1944 TB. AGF Plans 
Sec file 185 (S). (2) TB 1944. 15 Jari 44 (S). 



See Table No. 6. 



MOBILIZATION OF GROUND ARMY 



235 



as a substitute for heavy cannon. General McNair renewed his recommendation 
for more heavy battalions and the War Department increased the artillery pro- 
gram by 32 battalions, chiefly of 8'inch and 240'mm. howitzers." This brought 
the total number of heavy battalions authorized up to 143. Over 100 artillery 
battalions of calibers above io5-mm. were activated in 1944. Conversion of units 
of seacoast artillery and use of personnel from arms in which inactivation was in 
progress made the formation of new units relatively easy. The production of 
guns and anmiunition proved to be a more difl&cult problem. 

Implementation of the ig44 Troop Basis 

The 1944 Troop Basis was published under date of 15 January 1944. It 
called for an army of 6,955,000 enUsted men, slightly reduced from the earlier 
figure of 7,004,000 to allow for passage of enlisted men into the warrant ofl&cer 
and commissioned grades. With officers, who were henceforth included in the 
Troop Basis, the authorized strength of the Army aggregated 7,700,000. This 
strength was attained by April 1944. But while the Army as a whole was now 
at its plarmed ultimate strength, shortages continued to exist in various com- 
ponents. The Army therefore continued to grow. Actual strength reached 
8,000,000 by July 1944 and was approaching 8,300,000 at the time of victory in 
Europe in May 1945. The War Department, while obtaining special authoriza- 
tions to carry this overstrength, attempted through 1944 to cut back the strength 
of the Army to the 7,700,000 authorized in the Troop Basis. With the continu- 
ance of war in Europe this idea was given up. In May 1945 the Troop Basis 
was raised to 8,290,993, Thus actual strength was finally covered with a Troop 
Basis authorization. This figure became the point of departure for reductions 
subsequent to victory in Europe. 

It was doubted from the beginning whether the Troop Basis of January 
1944 could be implemented, that is, whether actual needs could be met within 
the 7,700,000 ceiling. The main reason was that the Troop Basis made inade- 
quate allowance for the ^'pipeline" — men in hospitals, in replacement centers 
and depots, in reassignment centers, and in transit or on furlough imder poli- 
cies of rotation between the United States and overseas stations. "I doubt," 

" (i) Rpt of Special Board of Offs for CofS USA, 4 May 44, sub: Adequacy of FA Program and 
Doctrine. 320.2/12 (TUB 44) (TS) (separate folder). (2) Memo (S) of Gen McNair for CofS USA, 30 
Apr 44, sub: Increase in Medium and Heavy Artillery. 320.2/32 (TB 44) (S). 



ORGANIZATION OF GROUND COMBAT TROOPS 



wrote General McNair in February 1944, "that the troop basis can be balanced 
because there is an insufficient allowance for pipeline — the invisible horde of 
people going here and there but seemingly never arriving."" With more always 
in the pipeline than the Troop Basis allowed for, men were not available, within 
the 7,700,000 ceiling, for anticipated requirements. These requirements were 
considerable. 

Even after the idea of adding fifteen divisions was abandoned, the Troop 
Basis of 15 January 1944 called for new units requiring half a million men in 
the three major forces. The Army Ground Forces required a net increase of 
about 150,000 for new units — chiefly AGF service units, combat engineers, and 
heavy artillery. For some of these units the Army Ground Forces had been 
wholly unable to plan. When the Troop Basis of 15 January 1944 was deliv- 
ered to headquarters of the Army Ground Forces, on 27 January, it was 
found to contain units on which no previous information had been received, 
though they were scheduled for activation by the Army Ground Forces in 
February and were needed for the invasion of France the following June. 
Certain activations scheduled for 1943, but deferred because of shortages in 
receipt of personnel, also remained to be carried out in 1944. Some old units 
were also short; divisions on the Six Months List were short almost 10,000 
infantrymen; divisions not on the Six Months List were short 32,500; non- 
divisional engineers were short 12,000. Heavy losses overseas in 1944 were ex- 
pected, for which replacements had to be made ready/* 

In addition, further demands on the Troop Basis, not provided for in 
January, developed in 1944. The number of heavy artillery battalions was sub- 
stantially increased, for reasons that have been previously explained." Require- 
ments for infantry replacements, in 1944 as in 1943, also exceeded all advance 
provisions made by the War Department. 

Since the Troop Basis of January 1944 authorized no increase in the strength 
of the Army over that authorized for 1943 (though not attained until April 
1944), and since the War Department did not intend to exceed this authoriza- 
tion, it was desired that manpower for new requirements in 1944 should be 
obtained by redistribution within the Army. Since 1942 tlie War Department 
had looked forward to a time when personnel could be redistributed to increase 

^Personal Itr of Gen McNair to Maj Gen L. E. Jones, CG loth Lt Div, 15 Feb 44. McNair 
Correspondence. 

" AGF memo (S) for G-3 WD, 13 Feb 44, sub: 1944 TB. 320.2/12 (TB 44) (S). 
" Sec above, [pp. 232-34. | 



MOBILIZATION OF GROUND ARMY 



tactical forces. Measures of economy were initiated in the winter of 1942-43, 
including the establishment of the War Department Manpower Board. It had 
been hoped that the desired readjustment, within a fixed ceiling, might occur 
in 1944. 

Plans for economy were again stated on 20 January 1944, in a memorandum 
of G-3, WDGS, for the Chief of Staff, U. S. Army, circulated in photostat to 
the headquarters of the Army Ground Forces." Proposed economies included 
"inactivation of units rendered surplus by the changing pattern of the war" 
(meaning chiefly antiaircraft and tank destroyer units as far as the Army 
Ground Forces was concerned), "reduction in Zone of Interior activities due 
to decrease in the training load" (such activities were relatively small in AGF), 
and "the exercise of drastic economy in the use of manpower both in the United 
States and overseas." It was stated that considerable transfer of personnel among 
the major commands in the United States would be necessary, with a net balance 
of transfers from the Air Forces to the Ground and Service Forces. The War 
Department Manpower Board was to extend its investigations to overseas 
theaters. 

Economies and Conversions in 1^44 

Very great economies were, in fact, accomplished in 1944. Certain luxuries 
of an earlier day, and installations once useful but now surplus, were stringently 
curtailed. Many kinds of establishments set up for other purposes tended to 
liquefy into the replacement stream, thus providing either combat replacements 
for old units or filler replacements for new units due for activation. 

The Army Specialized Training Program, which held almost 150,000 partly 
trained troops on college campuses, was virtually dissolved. About 73,000 of its 
students were transferred to the Army Ground Forces." Some 24,000 surplus 
aviation cadets were reassigned from the Air Forces to the Ground Forces in 
the spring of 1944.^® The flow into the Ground Forces from these two sources 
did not constitute altogether a quantitative gain in manpower, since the Ground 

"WD memo (S) WDGCT 320 TB (30 Dec 44) for Co£S USA, 20 Jan 44, sub: Implementation of TB 
1944.320.2/8 (TB44) (S). 

" (i) Memo (S) of Gen Marshall for SW, 10 Feb 44, sub: Serious Pers Shortages. (2) AGF M/S (S), 
G-i Control Div to G-i, 26 Feb 44, sub: Conference Concerning Distribution of ASTP Students. Both in 
353/100 (ASTP) (S). 

" (i) WD memo WDGCT 220.3 (24 Mar 44) for CO AGF, 29 Mar 44, sub: Almt of Pers Released by 
AAF. 220.3/21 19. (2) AGF Itr to CGs, 6 Apr 44, sub: Distribution of Aviation Cadet Tng Pers, 220.3/2129^, 



238 



ORGANIZATION OF GROUND COMBAT TROOPS 



Forces surrendered some 16,000 low-caliber personnel in return^ tlie aim being 
to improve the quality of combat soldiers. Toward the end of 1944 the War 
Department ordered the transfer to the Army Ground Forces of an additional 
40,000 high-quality men from the Air Forces and 25,000 from the Service Forces. 

In January 1944 the enlisted ovcrstrength authorized at the end of 1942 (15 
percent over T/0 strengths) was abolished, having become less necessary with 
the end of expansion, when units were no longer subject to the older forms of 
attrition/® In May 1944 all Tables of Organization except for infantry rifle com- 
panies and cavalry rifle troops were reduced by removal of 50 percent of basic 
privates.^** These two measures left surpluses in units from which men could be 
converted to new needs, or at least lowered the claims of nonrifle imits for 
personneL^^ 

Volunteers for infantry were called for from other branches. Under this 
program, launched in June 1944, in addition to 66,000 parachute volunteers, 
25,000 volunteers were obtained by the following February. The 25,000 were 
enough for the infantry of tliree divisions. More than half of these infantry 
volunteers came from sources outside the Ground Forces.^^ 

Many coast artillery units were converted to heavy field artillery. Most non- 
divisional infantry regiments were dissolved into the replacement stream. Tank 
destroyer battalions were inactivated as prescribed in the January 1944 Troop 
Basis. Antiaircraft battalions were inactivated at a more rapid rate than the 
January Troop Basis envisaged. It now proved fortunate that these two arms 
had been so extensively built up, for they constituted storehouses of soldiers 
who could be used for other purposes with only a little retraining and who 
otherwise would not have been available in 1944. By the end of 1944 antiaircraft 
and tank destroyer battalions were less than half as numerous as had been an- 
ticipated in the Troop Basis of November 1942. 

Service troops were saved by consolidation, closing, or reduction to a care- 
taker status of posts no longer required as tactical forces moved overseas. Station 
complements were reduced, and tactical units of the Army Ground Forces, 
while still in the United States, took over post housekeeping duties from which, 

"WD Itr (R) AG 320.2 (15 Jan 44) OB-S-C-M to CGs, 20 Jan 44. sub: Ovcrstrength in Units in 
Continental U. S. 320.2/309 (R), 
*"Cir 201, WD, 22 May 44. 
(i) WD Gen Council Min (S), 22 May 44. (2) AGF Itr (C) to CGs, 2 Jun 44, sub: Unauthorized 
Oversirength in AGF Units and Installations, 320.2/436 (C). (3) AGF Itr (R) to CGs, 28 Jul 44, sub: 
Authorized Strengths in AGF Units and Installations. 320.2/339 (R). 

(i) Cir 132, WD. 6 Apr 44. (2) WD Gen Council Min (S). 19 Feb 45. 



MOBILIZATION OF GROUND ARMY 



in the early period of mobilization, to speed up their training, they had been 
exempted." 

Despite these very real economies the Ground and Service Forces ex- 
perienced great difficulty in meeting the activation program in 1944. So many 
men were needed for replacements, or disappeared into the pipeline, that 
although hundreds of thousands were recovered by economy, and although 
the Army as a whole was almost 300,000 over its Troop Basis strength by 
July 1944, men were not available to meet the Troop Basis of the preceding 
January. Troop Basis requirements were revised downward. Some Ground 
Force units were canceled. Between cancellation of planned activations and 
inactivation of units already mobilized, the total strength allotted to tactical 
units of the Army Ground Forces declined steadily through 1944. That is to 
say, activation of new units in 1944 — AGF service units, combat engineers, 
and heavy artillery — required far less personnel than did the units which were 
inactivated or canceled. In the Army Ground Forces, Troop Basis strength of 
combat-type units only fell from 2,282,000 to 2,041,000 enlisted men between 
I January 1944 and 31 March 1945, 

With such great difficulty in meeting the Troop Basis, and with the Army 
as a whole nevertheless 300,000 over Troop Basis strength, it was evident that 
the trouble was maldistribution and that concealed overstrengths must be 
present somewhere in the Army. The problem was complicated by methods of 
personnel accounting which were inadequate due to the extreme complexity 
of the subject. During 1944 the War Department devised improved procedures 
for keeping current records of both actual and authorized strengths of each 
theater and of each of the three major commands. But the use of Troop Basis 
strengths, reported actual strengths, and reported authorized strengths as dis- 
tinguished from the Troop Basis, all applying to an army constantly fluctuat- 
ing in size, spread over the globe, and subject to continual battle losses, 
presented a problem defying the most patient analysis; the problem was com- 
plicated further by the breakdown of the component branches into T/O units, 
replacements, and overhead, which could be defined or distinguished only 
with difficulty. 

Searching for hidden overstrengths, the War Department discovered by 
September 1944 that overseas theaters were carrying overstrengths of more 
than 50,000 in their T/O units, especially divisions and other combat organ- 



" AGF Itr to CGsy 5 Feb 44^ sub: Fexsonnel, 320,2/7001. 



240 



ORGANIZATION OF GROUND COMBAT TROOPS 



izations, and, in addition, reserves of replacements more than 100,000 in excess 
of War Department authorizations. These overstrengths, while adding to the 
immediate combat power of the theaters which enjoyed them, were compen- 
sated for by corresponding understrengths in units and replacements in the 
United States, and therefore compromised the ability of the War Department to 
reinforce the theaters at future dates. Broadly speaking, a theater which ex- 
ceeded its authorization in combat troops was either depriving another theater 
of combat troops at the time or robbing itself as of a future date — except inso- 
far as additional combat troops might be formed from noncombat organiza- 
tions. But it was found that overhead was also overexpanded. "Overhead" 
meant troops who were neither in tactical headquarters (army, corps, etc.) 
nor in combat units, T/O service units, or replacement pools. Overhead in the 
European Theater of Operations, for which 93,227 men were authorized, 
actually absorbed 114,137. Overhead in the United States, authorized 1,272,323 
men, absorbed 1,297,688, Gross overstrength in overhead throughout the Army 
was almost 50,000.^ 

Attempts to economize on overhead in the United States met with limited 
success. Overhead could be reduced only partly as troops moved overseas. 
Zone of Interior overhead, composed of officers and men in jobs which would 
never take them overseas, fell about 15 percent between 30 June 1943, roughly 
the date at which troops in the United States were at their maximiun, and 31 
March 1945, at which date the proportion of the Army left in the United 
States was approaching the minimum. Figures were as follows:^ 

Zone of Interior Military Personnel 



Army Ground Forces 
Army Air Forces 
Army Service Forces 
War Dept. Activities 

TOTAL 

* Increase. 



Numier Ptntnt 

30 JtM 43 31 Mar 4S Kednctd Ktduced 

169,000 140,000 29,000 17.2 

831.000 710,000 121,000 J4.6 

547,000 444,000 103,000 18.8 

13,000 23,000 *10,000 76.0 



1,560,000 1,317,000 243,000 15.6 



Appendix "A," Chart s> WD Gen Council Min (S), 4 Sep 44. 
" (i) Summary of ZI Operating Pcrs, Changes in Str June 43-Fcb 45 and Jan-Feb 45, WDMB Form, 
Table i of 8, 15 Mar 45, in Appendix *T)," WD Gen Council Min (S), 26 Mar 45. (2) Same (R), Sucngth* 
31 Mar 45, Table i of 8, dated 30 Apr 45, in Appendix "B," WD Gen Council Min (S), 30 Apr 45. 



MOBIUZATION OF GROUND ARMY 



241 



Over 200,000 were thus recovered for overseas assignment, whether for tactical 
forces, replacements, or overseas overhead; but recovery was rather slow, for 
reduction in Air Force Zone of Interior personnel, which comprised over half the 
Zone of Interior personnel in the Army, did not reach substantial proportions 
until the last months of 1944. 

On 14 January 1944 the War Department ordered that enlisted men assigned 
to Zone of Interior positions be in general those not qualified for overseas 
service,^® These included men disqualified by age or physical condition, or those 
who had already served overseas. In February 1944 there were about 600,000 en- 
listed men qualified for overseas duty employed in the Zone of Interior. About 
400,000 were in the Air Forces, and 200,000 in the Ground and Service Forces. 
The latter were rapidly transferred to other positions during 1944. The 400,000 
in the Air Forces remained virtually untouched until October 1944. At that time 
the prolongation of the war in Europe added to the drive to get able-bodied men 
overseas. The Air Force figure fell to 262,000, but the reduction represented for 
the most part transfer of physically qualified men to the category of "critical 
specialists," in which they became temporarily disqualified for overseas duty, 
and hence remained at their Zone of Interior jobs. Figures were as follows: 



Men Qualified for Immediate Overseas Duty 
But Assigned to Zone of Interior Jobs 



Army Ground Forces 
Army Air Forces 
Army Service Forces 
War Dept. Activities 



29 Feb 44 
41,705 

397,954 
158,036 
389 



30 Nop 44 

6,557 
262,345 
4,059 




TOTAL 



598.084 



272,961 



On 30 June 1944, during the most critical days of the Normandy beachhead 
operation, the number of enlisted men in the United States qualified for over- 
seas duty but assigned to Zone of Interior jobs exceeded the number of enlisted 

"WD Itr AG 220.3 (M Jan 44) OB-C-A to CG AGF, 14 Jan 44, sub: Enl Men— Utilization of Man- 
power Based on Physical Capacity. 220.3/305 (LD). 

" (i) Rpts tabulated in WD Gen Council Min (S), 14 Aug 44, p. 3. (2) Appendix **E," Chart 3, 21 
Operating Pcrs, in WD Gen Council Min (S), 30 Nov 44. (3) WD Gen Council Min (S), 8 Jan 45. 



242 



ORGANIZATION OF GROUND COMBAT TROOPS 



infantrymen in the European and Mediterranean Theaters. It exceeded the 
number of Air Corps personnel, enlisted and commissioned, in the two theaters. 
It was 92 percent of the number of enlisted men in the infantry, armored and 
tank destroyer forces, cavalry, field artillery, coast artillery, and antiaircraft 
artillery in the European Theater.^® Many combat soldiers in the theaters were 
physically inferior to men scheduled to remain at home. This situation was not 
one which the Army Ground Forces approved, but it was difficult for the War 
Department to correct it in 1944. Since the early days of mobilization many 
prime physical specimens had been trained as technicians in Zone of Interior 
assignments. They now occupied key positions. Under pressure of combat in 
1944 the Ground and Service Forces, but not the Air Forces, generally replaced 
these men with men who were not qualified for overseas service or had already 
served overseas. 

Meanwhile the War Department urged economy on overseas commanders. 
Attempts in this direction since 1942 had not been very successful. In April 
1944 representatives of overseas theaters attended a conference in Washington, 
The Deputy Chief of Staff declared that in the past the War Department had 
liberally granted the requests of the theaters but that these requests had fre- 
quently been immoderate. He said that use of communications-zone troops had 
been extravagant and that waste in one theater would mean insufficiency in 
another. He urged the theaters to practice the same economies — ^inactivation, 
conversion, retraining— that were in progress in the United States.^^ 

It became increasingly difficult for the Zone of Interior to meet the replace- 
ment needs of the theaters. The situation was recognized as critical even before 

**On 30 June 1944 there were 456,032 POR-qualified enlisted men in Zone of Interior assignments. 
(Tabulation of G-i Rpts on Utilization of Manpower Based on Physical Capacity, WD Gen Council Min 
(S), 4 Sep 44, p. 5-) On that date other figures were as follows (Strength of the Army (S) 30 Jun 44, 
p. 16.314.7 (AGFHist) (S)): 



EMinInf 




IqETO 
In NATO 



291,878 
153.129 



312,385 
114,138 



496,704 



456,032 equals: 



TOTAL 



445,007 
102% 



426,523 



496,704 
92% 



" WD Gen Council Min (S), 3 Apr 44. 



MOBILIZATION OF GROUND ARMY 



the German breakthrough in the Ardennes on 16 December 1944. Officers of 
the War Department General Staff and Headquarters, Army Ground Forces, 
met in conference on 7 December.®" Battle losses in the European Theater alone 
were running to 3,000 a day, or 90,000 a month, while the Army Ground Forces 
was receiving only 53,000 a month from reception centers. Not all these were 
physically fit for training as combat replacements. To raise the induction rate 
would raise the proportion of physically unfit. Older sources of economy were 
vanishing: it was stated at the conference that the Ground Forces had reached 
the limit of inactivation, the Service Forces in the United States were drained 
of physically high-grade personnel, and the Air Forces, if called on to supply 
more men for retraining as infantry, would have to furnish Air Force specialists 
in the grade of sergeant. The Chief of Staff, Army Ground Forces, was asked 
point-blank by G-3 of the War Department whether he believed that the War 
Department was providing sufficient replacements to carry on the war. He re- 
plied that he did not. He recommended that the capacity of AGF replacement 
training centers be raised by 160,000 infantrymen, adding that the Ground 
Forces, even with reduced overhead, could find means to conduct their training. 
It was decided that the Servicie and Air Forces must meet their quotas for 
transfers, that the AAF quota might have to be raised, that steps should be 
taken to raise the induction rate, and that if necessary the replacement training 
program should be cut to fifteen weeks. 

The German counterattack of 16 December, suddenly subjecting American 
troops to still higher losses, therefore produced a downright emergency. The 
G-i of the European Theater of Operations flew to Washington. The last 
divisions were rushed to Europe and hence were not available for supplying 
replacements. The War Department insisted that the Zone of Interior was 
incapable of meeting the full requirement of ETO for replacements and that 
the theater must greatly accelerate its own program of conversion and retrain- 
ing. The bulk of the Army, it was pointed out, was now overseas, principally 
in Europe; such manpower resources as the Army had within itself were now 
in the theaters, and especially in the European Theater of Operations. It was 
agreed that henceforth the War Department should simply announce to each 
theater the number of replacements to be expected from the United States, and 
that each theater must meet all requirements above this number by redistribu- 



"M/R (S) Enl Div G-i AGF, sub: Overseas Repl Requirements. 320.3/170 (O'scas Rcpls) (S). 



244 



ORGANIZATION OF GROUND COMBAT TROOPS 



tion of Its own strength. By sending men below desired physical standards, men 
with only 15 weeks' training (or with only 6 weeks' retraining in infantry), and 
men in the higher enlisted grades beyond the normal proportion, and by 
cutting the allocation of replacements to the Southwest Pacific, the War Depart- 
ment was able on 8 January 1945 to assure the European Theater that about 
56,000 replacements a month (87 percent infantry) would arrive from the Zone 
of Interior from February to June. Only 43,590 a month had been allocated to 
ETO before the emergency of December/^ 

In January 1945 Lt. Gen. Ben Lear, who had succeeded General McNair 
in command of the Army Ground Forces, was transferred to the European 
Theater to supervise the combing of physically qualified personnel from rear- 
area establishments and their retraining as combat troops, principally infantry 
riflemen. General Lear, since the time of his command of the Second Army, 
had urged the assignment of the physically fit to combat positions, and the 
physically less fit to headquarters, service, and overhead installations. It was 
now his task, by conversion and retraining in Europe, to fill the gap in man- 
power between what the depleted Zone of Interior could supply and what the 
units at the front actually needed. 



The Struggle to Maintain the go-Division Army 

The T/O strength of AGF units in March 1945 was not much greater than 
in June 1943. Indeed, t he strength of ground combat units grew very little after 



December 1942, (See Fable No. 4.) At the same time the number of men in 



the ground arms increased, both through inductions and through conversion 
and retraining. The ground arms grew more rapidly in 1944 and the first quarter 
of 1945 than did other elements in the Army. (See Table No.^ nd its Annex.] ) 



Increase in personnel, without increase in units, indicates that most men added 
to the ground arms after the middle of 1943 went into existing units as replace- 
ments or into the "pipeline." The increase of strength by arm for the most part 
represented, not men in units, but men who had been in units and were now 
in hospitals, and men who were scheduled tb take their places in units but were 
currendy at some point in the replacement stream. 

" (i) Minutes of conferences at the Pentagon 23 and 28 Dec 1944. 330.2/173 (O'seas Repls) (S). (2) 
WD Itr (S) AGOC-E-C 320.2 (30 Oct 44) to CGs of theaters, 8 Nov 44, sub: O'seas Repls, 320,2/166 
(O'seas Rcpis) (S). (3) WD Itr (S) AGOC-E-C 320.3 (6 Jan 45) to CGs of theaters, 8 Jan 45, sub as 
above. 320.2/174 (0*seas Repls) (S). 



MOBIUZATION OF GROUND ARMY 



245 



In other words, the main problem of the Ground Forces after the close of 
1943 was not to activate new units but to preserve the units already active at the 
end of 1943, and in particular to hold together the 90 divisions already mobilized. 
One of these, the 2d Cavalry Division, was inactivated immediately after reach- 
ing its overseas station in 1944. In effect, the remaining 89 divisions represented 
the planned divisional strength of the Army, The problem was to hold together 
an Army of 89 divisions. 

By the inactivations, conversions, and retraining described above, and by 
the assignment of the majority of newly inducted men to AGF replacement 
training centers in 1944 and 1945, the War Department succeeded in preserving 
the 89 divisions and avoided repeating the experience of 1918, when almost a 
third of the divisions then activated became hardly more than paper organiza- 
tions. But the process was a complex one, in which some divisions in the United 
States were almost lost. The personnel needed by overseas units was not provided 
merely from replacement centers or from special installations for reconversion 
training, but to a large extent from units destined soon to enter combat them- 
selves. Some divisions virtually went out of existence as combat organizations 
(as in 1918), only to be rebuilt at the latest possible moment. 

The last division had hardly been activated in August 1943 when a crisis 
developed in the replacement system.^^ This was essentially an infantry crisis. 
Infantry components of divisions of the various types, by which virtually all 
infantry fighting was done, numbered about 700,000 officers and men, well 
under a tenth of the strength of the fully mobilized Army. The figure changed 
little after the close of 1943. But to maintain 700,000 officers and men in 
divisional infantry units, the strength of the Infantry as an arm rose to 
1,800,000 by April 1945. 

With the opening of operations in Sicily in July 1943, and the commit- 
ment of ground forces to battle in increasing numbers thereafter, a demand 
arose for replacements in the Infantry, which suffered most of the casualties, 
far beyond the capacity of infantry replacement training centers to produce. 
Nondivisional infantry regiments were depleted and inactivated, their person- 
nel being sent as replacements to the Mediterranean. Divisions also were 
tapped. By January 1944 approximately 25,000 men had been taken from 
infantry divisions in the Army Ground Forces not earmarked for early ship- 



"^The replacements problem is dealt with in two reports prepared by the AGF Historical Section, Pro- 
vision of Enlisted Replacements, and Major Developments in the Training of Enlisted Replacements. 



246 



ORGANIZATION OF GROUND COMBAT TROOPS 



mcnt.^^ These divisions in January were, on the average, 2,000 understrength 
in their infantry elements. As each division v/^s earmarked in its turn, it had 
to be brought to T/O strength by transfer of trained personnel from divisions 
of loM^er priority. The divisions of lowest priority, generally those most re- 
cently activated, and chronically short or partly refilled with men direct from 
reception centers, could with difficulty proceed beyond basic training. The 
troubles of 1942 were repeated at the beginning of 1944. 

The first weeks of 1944 were a time of extreme difficulty in replacement 
planning. On 4 January General McNair, reviewing the shortages in infantry 
divisions, expressed a fear that one or more divisions might have to be broken 
up.^* On 12 January the War Department, anticipating the invasion of France, 
announced that within two months, in the early summer, ETO would require 
50,000 more infantry and field artillery replacements than replacement training 
centers could producc.^^ The Army Ground Forces was directed to plan accord- 
ingly, with minimum disruption of units in the United States, minimum delay 
in activation of new units, and reduction of replacement training if necessary 
to thirteen weeks. On 19 January substantially the reverse policy prevailed: the 
Army Ground Forces was directed to submit a plan by which overseas combat 
replacements should be men with at least nine months' training, taken from 
all imits of the Army Ground Forces not due for early shipment.^^ This directive 
reflected the school of thought which had long believed seventeen weeks of 
training insufficient to produce a good replacement. In addition, it was thought 
undesirable to send into combat men with only seventeen weeks of training at a 
replacement center, and who in many cases were iS-year-olds or "pre-Pearl Har- 
bor fathers," while other men who had been in the Army two or three years 
remained in units in the United States — some of which, in an optimistic view, 
might never be required in battle. The justice of this policy can hardly be dis- 
puted. Its inconvenience was equally clear. The situation was an awkward one, 
owing to the postponement of invasion plans, as a result of which units had been 
ready longer than necessary before their dates of commitment, 

" (i) AGF Historical Section, The Building and Training of Infantry Divisions. (2) Memo (S) of Gen 
McNair for CofS USA, 4 Jan 44, sub: Tng of Repls. 320.2/101 (O'scas Rcpis) (S). 

'*Menio (S) of Gen McNair for CofS USA, 4 Jan 44, sub: Tng of Rpls, 320.3/1 01 (0*scas Rpis) (S). 

"WD memo (TS) WDGCT 370.5 (12 Jan 44) for CG AGF, la Jan 44, sub: Repls, 320.2 (O'seas 
RcpIs) (TS). 

"WD memo (S) WDCSA 320.2 (16 Jan 44) for CG AGF, 19 Jan 44, sub: Combat Repls. 320,2/105 
(0*scas Repls) (S). 



MOBILIZATION OF GROUND ARMY 



247 



On 25 January General McNair, in a carefully documented reply to the 
War Department, showed that it was mathematically impossible to hold enough 
divisions in the United States to give nine months' training to the required 
number of replacements, and at the same time to ship divisions overseas on the 
schedule laid down for 1944. Since 80 percent of replacements had to be infantry, 
it was chiefly infantry divisions that were affected. All but nine infantry divisions 
were due for shipment by the end of 1944. To give nine months' training, includ- 
ing a period within divisions, to the number of replacements estimated by the 
War Department as needed in 1944 would tie up sixteen divisions in the United 
States, For the number of replacements estimated as necessary by the Army 
Ground Forces (which was 50 percent higher, and nearer to the requirement 
that actually developed), twenty-six divisions would have to be held at home. 
The program proposed by the War Department, if adhered to as a continuing 
policy, would therefore relegate about a quarter of the infantry divisions to the 
status of replacement training organizations." 

On 7 February General McNair pointed out that, even under a seventeen- 
week program for training replacements, a severe shortage was to be expected. 
He declared that to provide overseas replacements as needed, together with their 
trainer personnel, and to fill shortages in units already earmarked for shipment, 
the Army Ground Forces would have to receive 500,000 men in the remainder of 
1944. Adding requirements for new units in the troop basis, and allowing for 
attrition, the Ground Forces would need 1,000,000 in the remainder of 1944. 
If this figure could not be met, and assuming it to be correct, wrote General 
McNair, the only recourse would be to curtail the Troop Basis. He added : "In 
short we may be over-mobilized, or have an unbalanced mobilization in light 
of present conditions." ^ The AGF Troop Basis was in fact curtailed, as has been 
noted, by 250,000 between 15 January 1944 and 31 March 1945, chiefly through 
inactivation of antiaircraft units* 

At this point, on 10 February 1944, General Marshall went directly to the 
Secretary of War with a proposal to liquidate the Army Specialized Training 
Program. Measures of economy already undertaken, he said, would provide 
men for units to be shipped after 31 August 1944* The need was for filling, 
with men already basically trained, shortages in units due for shipment before 
31 August. These units were required for the forthcoming invasion of France. 

"AGF memo (TS) for CofS USA, 25 Jan 44, sub: Repls. 320.2 (O'scas Rcpis) (TS). 

" Memo (S) of Gen McNair for CofS USA, 7 Feb 44, subt RepI Situation. 320.2/106 (O'seas Repls) (S), 



248 



ORGANIZATION OF GROUND COMBAT TROOPS 



Men basically trained were available on college campuses in the Army Spe- 
cialized Training Program. General Marshall offered a choice between drasti- 
cally reducing the college program and disbanding ten divisions and certain 
nondivisional units. The Army Specialized Training Program was immediately 
reduced." 

Of the 35 divisions among which ASTP trainees were distributed, only 7 
actually went overseas before 31 August., ASTP trainees were generally assigned 
to lower-priority divisions, to fill vacancies caused by application of a six-month 
rule for overseas replacements. 

The War Department abandoned the nine-month project but was still 
determined to draw replacements from divisions and other units before using 
the newcomers to the Army currently graduating from replacement training 
centers. On 26 February 1944 the War Department directed the Army Ground 
Forces to obtain overseas replacements in all the combat arms by stripping units 
not on the Six Months List."" Men chosen were to have had at least six months 
of service, those with the longest service to be chosen first. No 18-year-olds or 
pre-Pearl Harbor fathers with less than six months of training were to be sent 
overseas as replacements until all other sources were exhausted. 

Units not earmarked were now systematically stripped. Although the six- 
month policy applied to replacements in all combat arms, comparatively few 
replacements were required except in the Infantry, so that it was mainly in- 
fantry units that lost their men. Divisions surrendered their privates and a per- 
centage of their noncommissioned officers until a date about four months before 
sailing. Thus the divisions which entered combat in the latter part of 1944 were 
divisions which had been in training for periods averaging two years but were 
composed in large part of men new to the division, new to the infantry, or 
even new to the Army. In some ways divisions profited, for they received new 
men of higher quality than had been previously obtainable by the Ground 
Forces; but unit spirit and unit training, carefully built up in the preceding 
years, and generally admitted to be vital in combat, had to be recaptured at the 
last moment.*^ 

*" Memo (S) of Gen Marshall for SW, lo Feb 44, sub: Serious Personnel ShorUges. 353/100 (ASTP) (S). 
"WD memo (C) WDGCT 200 (26 Feb 44) for CO AGF, 26 Feb 44, sub: Rcpls. 320.2/107 (O'scas 
Repls) (C). 

(i) AGF memo (S) for G-3 WD, 13 Mar 44, sub: Repls. 320.2/114 (O'seas Repls) (S). (2) AGF Itr 
(C) to CGs. 29 Mar 44, sub: O'seas En! Rcpls. 320.2/1 10 (O'seas Rcpls) (C). (3) AGF Itr (R) to CGs, 30 
Apr 44, sub: Refilling of Certain AGF Units 220.3/123 (R). 



MOBILIZATION OF GROUND ARMY 



249 



The six-month replacement training policy lasted for only about two 
months in the spring of 1944. The War Department, in view of the major 
offensive impending, would not decelerate the shipping schedule for divisions 
and other combat units. Units therefore soon became unavailable as producers 
of replacements. There were not enough divisions in the Army for the War 
Department to gain both its objectives: namely, to ship divisions to theaters as 
rapidly as was feasible; and to ship replacements to theaters from divisions 
remaining in the United States. By the summer of 1944 replacements were again 
being sent overseas with seventeen weeks of training. But the internal composi- 
tion of infantry divisions in the United States had in the meantime been 
revolutionized. 

While the six-month policy was given up, the 18-year-old policy was con- 
firmed anew. On 24 June 1944 the War Department ordered categorically that 
no 18-year-old should be sent overseas as an infantry or armored replacement." 
Over 20,000 18-year-olds, currently in training in infantry and armored replace- 
ment centers, were assigned to divisions on completing their course, since there 
was no bar on 18-year-olds going overseas as members of organized units, and 
since many of the men concerned would be nineteen by the time their divisions 
sailed. Meanwhile, to fill the void in the replacement stream, divisions lost an 
equal number of older men — older both in being over eighteen and in being 
trained members of their units. At this time about half the men being inducted 
into the Army were 18-year-olds. At the same time virtually all inductees were 
being assigned to AGF replacement centers as the Army was completely 
mobilized and in general needed only to replace losses, of which over 80 percent 
were infantry and armored. The 18-year-old rule was, therefore, difficult to 
apply. To find enough men over eighteen to fill infantry and armored replace- 
ment centers all available inductees over eighteen had to be used, regardless of 
age or physical condition. Many men received at the front as infantry and 
armored replacements in the later months of 1944 were therefore inadequate 
physically. Meanwhile the rule was abolished as unworkable. Beginning as 
early as August, 18-year-olds were again put into the infantry and armored 
replacement centers, from which, beginning in November, they were shipped 
overseas with seventeen weeks of training— reduced in January 1945 to fifteen. 

During 1944 about 40 divisions yielded overseas replacements. Seventeen 
lost most of their infantry privates and many of their noncommissioned officers. 

**WD memo (C) WDGCT 370.5 (24 Jun 44) to CG AGF, 24 Jun 44, sub: Rcpls. 320.2/107 (O'lcas 
Repls) (C). 



250 



ORGANIZATION OF GROUND COMBAT TROOPS 



Divisions were reconstructed, in part by assignment of replacement training 
center graduates during the period when seventeen weeks of replacement 
training did not qualify a man as an overseas replacement, in part by personnel 
received through economies and conversions. ASTP trainees, transferred aviation 
cadets, and 18-year-olds from replacement training centers supplied 37 divisions, 
from April to July, with about 100,000 men. Men volunteering for transfer to 
infantry and men converted from tank destroyer and antiaircraft artillery units 
were also assigned to divisions, but most of these, along with men from the Air 
and Service Forces at the end of 1944, were assigned to special replacement 
centers or special infantry regiments for six weeks of infantry training. 

For a time at the end of 1944 it seemed that certain infantry divisions would 
be broken up despite all the effort to preserve them. Operations in the European 
Theater, after proceeding ahead of schedule, met with strong resistance at the 
Siegfried Line in September, The infantry troops of divisions in action since 
the landings in France were desperately in need of relief. It was decided to adopt 
a system of unit replacement. Recommendations of the Army Ground Forces 
in 1943 to provide more nondivisional regiments for this purpose had not been 
adopted. Instead, nondivisional infantry regiments had been dissolved in con- 
siderable numbers to furnish individual replacements. Now, in October 1944, 
it was decided that the infantry regiments of most infantry divisions still left 
in the United States were to be shipped to Europe separately.*^ But the plan was 
altered before going fully into effect. Only certain regiments were shipped 
separately. In any case all division headquarters and auxiliary elements went 
overseas, where they were reunited with their infantry and reappeared as 
standard organizations. The crisis of December was likewise passed without 
dissolution of any divisions. The need for divisions as units was even greater 
than the need for their personnel as individual replacements. By February 1945 
all divisions had left the Army Ground Forces. 

A year earlier, in January 1944, 57 divisions were still in the United States. 
Most of them were more than a year old. But instead of having a stock of units 
from which to meet at leisure, after a long period of waiting, the calls of the 
Operations Division for shipment of divisions and other units to theaters, the 
Army Ground Forces had to make exact calculations in order to have them 
ready when needed. The period of waiting in 1943 was followed by a race against 

" (i) AGF M/S (S), G-3 to CofS, 19 Oct 44, sub: Pcrs Status of Certain Divs, 320.2/760 (S). (2) Memo 
(S) of Gen Lear for G-3 WD, 23 Oct 44, sub: Separate Inf Rcgts< 320.2/58 (TB 44) (S). 



MOBILIZATION OF GROUND ARMY 



time in 1944. Units scheduled to go overseas received their permanent personnel 
at the latest possible moment. Some went over less fully trained than the Army 
Ground Forces desired. Seven infantry divisions had never engaged in a division 
versus division maneuver. Ten had engaged in such a maneuver with from 
only 30 to 60 percent of the personnel which they took overseas. Not all calls of 
the Operations Division for nondivisional units could be met. In June 1944, for 
example, of 1,304 AGF-type units then put by the Operations Division on the 
Six Months List, 214 were reported as unavailable.^^ With the influx of new 
personnel, they could not be trained (or retrained) by the dates desired. The 
situation was like that of early 1942, when the Army Ground Forces struggled 
to provide units trained and at T/O strength for the invasion plan of that date* 

" WD Gen Council Min (S), 26 Jun 44. 



V. Summary 



Perhaps the broadest generalization that can be made about the mobilization 
of combatant ground forces is that they were the first to be mobilized and the 
last to be used. Mobilization may be said to have begun in September 1940, with 
the adoption of Selective Service and induction of the National Guard. Until 
the declaration of war, mobilization and training were concentrated on combat- 
type ground forces. Air forces remained relatively small, and service units were 
not produced in the proportions required for war, especially for a war conducted 
on the far side of oceans. In 1942 the emphasis remained heavily on the formation 
of new divisions. By the end of 1942, divisions and other ground combat units 
already mobilized had an enlisted T/O strength of 1,917,000. It was planned 
that this figure should reach 2,811,000 by the end of 1943, 

In January 1943 the War Department expressed an intention to raise, 
through economies of manpower, the strength of ground combat units to a 
figure exceeding 3,000,000 enlisted men in 1944. Although mobilization had 
been in progress for over two years prior to the winter of 1942-43, no significant 
measures were adopted to economize manpower in the Army. There was now 
an ambiguity in the situation. Economy was now to the fore, but the need for 
adding to combatant ground forces had receded. Plans for invasion of western 
Europe had been postponed. Combatant ground troops moved overseas very 
slowly in 1943. Hence reserves accumulated in the United States. With the de- 
velopment of air power and with Russian victories, there was no certainty that 
United States ground forces would be needed in large numbers. Among the 
many demands for military manpower those of the Army Ground Forces were 
judged to be of low priority in 1943. In January 1943 the activation of three 
divisions was deferred from the first to the last half of that year. In June 1943 



MOBILIZATION OF GROUND ARMY 



twelve divisions scheduled for the last half of 1943 (including the three deferred 
hitherto) v/crc deferred to 1944, But the War Department, while postponing the 
activation of more divisions to 1944, did not defer to 1944 the attainment of 
the full strength of die Army. The Troop Basis of 1943 used up the full strength 
which the Army could expect to reach. This strength, including ofl&cers, was 
7,700,000 after June 1943, when the ceiling was lowered from the 8,200,000 set 
in 1942. It was largely to accommodate the Army within the lowered ceiling 
that activation of the twelve divisions was deferred in 1943. Despite lowering 
of the ceiling the Army in fact grew to a strength of over 8,200,000 as had 
originally been planned. Nevertheless, the deferment of divisions proved to be 
a postponement to the Greek calends, for the time never came when manpower 
was available for more divisions. The only hope of adding divisions in 1944 
was through redistribution within the Army. Redistribution to divisions was not 
achieved for various reasons: the demand for overhead and replacements proved 
to be persistently in excess of estimates j the increase of service units seemed 
impossible to check; and certain combat requirements, such as the B-29 arid 
heavy artillery programs, had to be met after the Army was already formed. 

As a result, not only did the hope of raising ground combat strength to 
3,000,000 enlisted men never materialize, but ground combat strength in the 
end hardly exceeded the strength already mobilized at the end of 1942. On 31 
December 1942, T/0 enlisted strength of ground combat units already mobi- 
lized was 1,917,000. Strength of such units mobilized on 31 March 1945 was 
only 2,041,000. T/0 enlisted strength of divisions mobilized on 31 December 
1942 was 1,056,000 — on 31 March 1945 only 1,125,000. More units did exist in 
1945 than at the end of 1942. Sixteen divisions were added in the first eight 
months of 1943, and almost 200 nondivisional fi eld artillery ba ttalions and over 
150 engineer battalions in 1943 and 1944. (See Table No. 5.; But units were 
added without increase of total strength of ground combat units of all types. 
In other words, the added units were not obtained by redistribution and econ- 
omy within the Army as a whole but principally by redistribution and economy 
within the combat elements of the Army Ground Forces. These redistributions 
and economies took the form of inactivation of ground combat units of cer- 
tain types, and of decrease in the size of ground combat units of all types through 
downward revision of Tables of Organization, With these inactivations and 
reductions the total strength of ground combat units in 1945 was approximately 
1,000,000 below what had been planned in the winter of 1942-43, Combat 
ground forces grew to only two-thirds of their anticipated strength. 



254 



ORGANIZATION OF GROUND COMBAT TROOPS 



Although the total strength of combat ground units did not materially 
rise after 1942, the total strength of the Army rose by almost 3,000,000 after that 
date, increasing from about 5,400,000 to almost 8,300,000. These 3,000,000 offi- 
cers and men went into the Air and Service Forces, into nondivisional service 
units of the Army Ground Forces, into overhead in all forms, into the hospital 
population, and into organizations of all kinds designed for the training and 
storage of replacements. 



Ground Combat Units in Planned Troop Basis, ig^-^ 



Date 


Percent 


August 1942 


* 41. 


November 1942 


37-3 


January 1943 


'40.5 


July 1943 


35-3 


January 1944 


32.9 


January 1945 


29.4 


April 1945 


^27.0 


December 1946 (Projected for Japanese War) 


22. 6 



* Estimate from pertinent War Department documents. 
Estimate on basis of actual strength. 

Thus in the Army of over 8^000,000 in existence in April 1945 only about 
one-fourth v^^ere combatant ground soldiers, not counting men currently in 
training as replacements (approximately 500,000) v^^ho v^^ould eventually join 
combat units but not increase their numerical strength. Excluding the Air 
Forces, v^^hich numbered 2,300,000, the strength of combat units v^^as about 37 
percent of the strength of the Army. Comparison may be made v^^ith World 
War L In November 1918 combat ground forces numbered 1,660,000 officers 
and men, v^^ithin 600,000 of the corresponding figure for 1945. If from the 1945 
figure one deducts the antiaircraft artillery, which scarcely existed in 1918 and 
vi^hich in 1945 w^as not all used on the battlefield, the strength of ground combat 
units in 1945 was only 300,000 greater than in 1918. Ground combat units in 
1918, numbering 1,660,000, constituted 45 percent of the total strength of 
3,700,000 then carried on the books of the War Department, Excluding avia- 
tion, which in 1918 numbered 190,000, ground combat units constituted almost 



MOBILIZATION OF GROUND ARMY 



half the Army. Excluding both aviation and antiaircraft artillery, the Army put 
half it s strength into combat units in 1918 but only a third in 1945. (See Table 



No> ij ) Not only had strength of ground combat units fallen to 27 percent of the 
Army by April 1945, but according to plans then in effect for redeployment 
against Japan it was slated to fall to less than 23 percent by December 1946. 

On I May 1945 Gen. Joseph W. Stilwell, Commanding General of AGF, 
called the attention of Gen, George C. Marshall to the "disappearing ground 
combat army." The trend, wrote General Stilwell, "may be pregnant with 
disaster if we have a tough ground fight with Japan." ^ The Operations Division 
WDGS, asked by General Marshall to comment, reviewed some of the main 
features of mobilization. It was noted that Troop Basis plans followed theater 
estimates of forces required. The continuing decline in the proportion of combat 
troops to the total Army, the Operations Division observed,^ 

is a natural result of a diminishing need in the actual numbers of assault troops due to 
mechanization of the Army, i. e., the great masses of armor and airplanes that prepare the 
way for the final assault of the foot soldier with resultant saving of human life. While 
decreasing the actual numbers of assault troops needed in batde, these engines of war require 
a large and more extensive Line of Communication. The assault trooper is still the corner- 
stone of the oficnsive. However, mechanization has made him more efficient in the carrying 
out of his duties and he is not now needed in the great numbers formerly demanded when 
assaults consisted mainly of human blows against defended positions. 



With due regard for the weight of this statement, the headquarters of the Army 
Ground Forces felt that assault troops might be "more efficient in the carrying 
out of their duties" and might be employed with more "saving of human life" 
if certain advantages following from larger numbers could be obtained. One 
advantage in numbers was the ability to withdraw units before the point of 
fatigue at which casualties mounted. Another was the ability to concentrate 
decisive force at critical moments. A third was the ability to give systematic 
training, without the disruption and turnover within units caused by emergency 
demands. 

That aviation and mechanization, as noted by the Operations Division, 
saved the lives of combat troops was not questioned by the Army Ground Forces. 

* Memo (S) of Gen Stilwell for Gen Marshall, i May 45, sub: A iMsappearing Ground Combat Army. 
320.2/801 (S). 

"OPD memo (S) 320.2 (i May 45) for CofS USA, 9 May 45, sub: A Disappearing Ground Combat 
Army. 320.2/801 (S), 



256 



ORGANIZATION OF GROUND COMBAT TROOPS 



Indeed General McNair, especially in 1942 and 1943, had urged more attention 
to the air support of ground troops than he was able to obtain. But in Europe, 
despite extensive use of air and mechanized forces, a larger use of infantry had 
been required than had been planned. This situation might conceivably recur 
in the Far East. On the other hand, it could reasonably be calculated that success 
against Japan would depend heavily on naval and air power and on the large 
ground forces of foreign armies — especially those of China and the Soviet Union. 

The foregoing narrative raises two general questions which reach beyond 
the jurisdiction of the Army Ground Forces, but on which its experience with 
mobilization may be of value. One question relates to the timing of mobilization, 
the other to its quantitative aspects. 

As for timing, it is evident that if the War Department had found it 
possible to accelerate the preparation of air and service forces in 1940 and 1941, 
it would have produced a smoother mobilization in 1942 after the declaration 
of war. As seen in 1941, the 36 divisions mobilized before Pearl Harbor hardly 
seemed too many for an army totaling 1,600,000, the strength attained at the 
end of 1941. But they proved to be far out of proportion as the Army developed. 
In 1942 emphasis continued to fall on divisions; 37 divisions were activated in 
that year alone. It was believed that corresponding nondivisional units could 
be activated somewhat later than divisions, since they required less time for 
training. This policy proved to have serious disadvantages. Activation of divi- 
sions and of supporting nondivisional units got out of step. Since the 1942 Troop 
Basis at first made too little provision for service units, and since it developed 
that service units were in fact needed in the theaters before combat units arrived, 
many service units were activated in 1942 without Troop Basis authorization. 
Activation of service units became irregular, uncoordinated, and difiScult to 
control. The Troop Basis, instead of forecasting mobilization, had to be 
changed repeatedly to authorize mobilization ex post facto. At the same time, 
with divisions intentionally launched some months before their corresponding 
nondivisional units, future commitments for nondivisional units, especially 
service units, were continually built up. Thus the service program always seemed 
to be lagging, and to find manpower for service units many combat units were 
kept understrength for months after activation. Meanwhile the Army Air 
Forces were also rapidly growing. 

The timing of mobilization depended directly on strategic plans. In 1942, 
until mid-July, planning called for an invasion of western Europe in conjunc- 



MOBILIZATION OF GROUND ARMY 



tion with the British either in the fall of 1942 or in the spring of 1943. 
Rapid activation of divisions in 1942 was necessary to implement this plan. 
Then in the summer of 1942 it was decided to confine ground operations to an 
invasion of North Africa, and to concentrate meanwhile on an air offensive 
against Germany. The date for invading western Europe with land forces was 
postponed. The mobilization objective for ground troops was reduced, and the 
rate of mobilization was slowed down. Still, two theaters had to be built up in 
the European area, each with a large requirement for overhead and service 
troops, though there was no ground fighting in the European Theater until June 
1944, and in the Mediterranean Theater the number of United States divisions 
employed in combat seldom exceeded half a dozen. 

Combatant ground forces were virtually mobilized in over-all strength 
by the end of 1942, and thereafter improved their striking power by economy 
and reorganization within themselves. Changes in war plans brought about 
a long period of waiting before commitment on a large scale. With three ex- 
ceptions, the divisions activated after Pearl Harbor did not enter combat until 
1944. For strategic plans as finally adopted and carried out, mobilization of 
ground forces was premature and mobilization of air forces somewhat tardy. 
The Army Air Forces, having to be built from the small beginnings of 1941, 
continued to expand rapidly while the Ground Forces essentially marked time. 
All types of service units, some remaining from 1942, had to be formed in 1943 
and 1944. The Army Ground Forces felt that the assignment of manpower in 
the period following 1942, when the Army showed a net growth of almost 
3,000,000, mainly to air and service units and overhead establishments, instead 
of combatant ground forces, might create a dangerous situation in the future. 

This leads to the question of quantity. The question is essentially this: What 
are the decisive factors that limit the capacity of the United States to deploy com- 
bat ground forces overseas ? In World War II the United States, with 12,000,000 
men in its armed services including those in the Navy, produced only 95 divi- 
sions, including those in the Marine Corps. This fact must be weighed whenever 
ground operations overseas on any considerable scale are contemplated. The 
evidence surveyed in the present study indicates that the United States found 
its projects for ground operations overseas limited by many factors. One was the 
proportion of national resources needed to control the sea and the air. Another 
was the allocation of resources to strategic bombardment and to the support of 
allies. A third was the need of maintaining supply lines with streams of personnel 



258 



ORGANIZATION OF GROUND COMBAT TROOPS 



and equipment constantly in transit over immense distances. A factor which 
produced problems not clearly foreseen was the demand for shipping, personnel, 
and overhead created by supplies which included a mass of heavy and com- 
plicated mechanical equipment, and also the materiel needed to provide Ameri- 
can soldiers with something corresponding to the American standard of living. 
These demands, and the controls that seemed to be necessary to coordinate the 
complex of specialized units using various types of mechanical and motorized 
equipment, led to a prodigious growth of service and administrative units, and 
in part account for the unprecedented and alarming proliferation of overhead 
in the Army of World War II. Certain of these factors seem likely to grow with 
further advances in mechanization. Others, such as the pressure to enable Ameri- 
can soldiers to take their standard of living with them, will at least not decline. 
The striking force that the United States can deliver in ground combat overseas 
is likely always to depend on the degree to which economy in these limiting 
factors is achieved. 

How much economy of this sort was achieved in World War II is difficult 
to determine, but certainly by the beginning of 1945 the Army was a more 
economical and a leaner organization than in any previous year of the war. 
Indeed the fat stored up in previous years proved to be a useful reserve. It was 
found that much could be dispensed with under pressure: soldiers on college 
campuses who formed a pool over half as large as the armored forces; surpluses 
of aviation cadets; an antiaircraft artillery half as large as all infantry divisions 
combined; personnel engaged solely in post housekeeping duties; and allowances 
for margins of overstrength and for basic privates in tactical units. In 1944-45 
troops were converted from these uses to combat jobs, with the consequence, 
however, that retraining had to be regrettably hasty. 

These economies were produced for the most part by emergency, and men 
thus recaptured were used mainly as replacements, going to maintain but not to 
increase the number of existing units. Maintenance of units at effective strength 
was a considerable achievement. If only for this reason the 89 Army divisions 
overseas in 1945 were the equivalent, apart from superiority of fire power, of a 
larger number of enemy divisions. As for increase in number of combat units, 
all increase occurring after 1942 could be traced to economy within the Army 
Ground Forces rather than in the Army as a whole. 

Smooth and economical mobilization, both in training and in quantitative 
distribution, is probably impossible to achieve in any war. It would appear to 



MOBILIZATION OF GROUND ARMY 



259 



require primarily two conditions. One is a consistent strategic plan, in which suc- 
cessive phases of operations are foreseen well in advance and substantially 
adhered to. The other is an authority able to adjudicate the rival claims of ground, 
service, air, and naval forces, and to apportion to each of them, in the light of 
strategic plans, such a share of the national stock of manpower and resources 
as would assure to each the means for attaining maximum efiBciency in its as- 
signed role. Since no plan is infallible and no central agency omniscient, mobil- 
ization can never be perfectly smooth and perfectly economical. The problem 
is to find the best middle ground between rational foresight and short-run 
adjustments. Some of the costs and sacrifices incurred in following a course 
through this middle ground in World War II have been indicated in the fore- 
going study. The fact remains that the pursuit of that course led to victory. 



#1 Gfouad Tfoops £01: C^mbitt 

Robert R. Palmer 



Contents 



Prig* 



I. TACTICAL ORGANIZATION BEFORE 8 MARCH 1942 ... 265 

Role of the Army Ground Forces 268 

Guiding Ideas of General McNair 271 

Tactical Organification in March 1942 276 

II. THE TIGHTENING PINCH, MARCH-OCTOBER 1942 .... 281 

Mobility versus Transportation 281 

Crucial Decisions: September-October 1942 286 

III. THE PERIOD OF ECONOMY, OCTOBER 1942-OCTOBER 1943 . 290 

Pooling: The Critical Cases — Tank^ Tank Destroyer^ and Antiaircraft 

Artillery 293 

Streamlining: Work of the AGF Reduction Board 297 

IV. THE INFANTRY DIVISION 300 

The AGF Tables of March 1943 300 

Reaction to the AGF Tables 314 

V. THE ARMORED DIVISION 319 

VL EXPERIMENTAL DIVISIONS 336 

Cavalry and Motorized Divisions 336 

Airborne^ Mountain^ Jungle^ and Light'' Divisions 339 

VII. ARMY AND CORPS 351 

Abandonment of the Type** Army and** Type*' Corps 352 

The Battalion-and-Group System 356 

Higher Headquarters 359 

Theory of Army and Corps ... 363 

VIIL SUMMARY 372 

AGF LETTER ON REVISED ORGANIZATION, 21 JULY 1943 .... 374 

Tables 

1. Organic Composition of the Infantry Division, 1936-45 274 

2. Troops in Divisions and in Nondivisional Units, by Branch, 31 December 

1943 and 31 March 1945 306 



264 



ORGANIZATION OF GROUND COMBAT TROOPS 



N(7. Vagt 

3. Organic Composition of the Armored Division, 1942-45 320 

4. Composition of the "Type" Army and "Type" Corps, 31 July 1942 . . , 354 

5. Evolution of Corps Headquarters, 1942-45 361 

6. Composition of the Third Army, 1 October 1942 366 

7. Composition of the Third Army, 10 November 1943 368 

Chart 

The Armored Division, 1 March 1942 and 15 September 1943 330 



I. Tactical Organization 
Before 8 March 1942 



The mission of the Army Ground Forces, as stated by War Department 
Circular 59, 2 March 1942, was "to provide ground force units properly organ- 
ized, trained and equipped for combat operations." Organization of units for 
combat, often called "tactical organization," involved two interrelated activities. 
One was to divide men and materials into standard parts of known and cal- 
culable capabilities, such as "the" infantry division, "the" ordnance light main- 
tenance company, etc. The other was to combine these parts into larger wholes- 
task forces, corps, or armies — ^which were the controlling agencies of large- 
scale combat. 

Structure of the standard parts, from the division down, but including the 
headquarters of corps and armies, was prescribed in Tables of Organization 
and Equipment. Known (1945) as "T/O&E's," these established the type units, 
or standard patterns, according to which actual units were formed in such 
numbers and at such times as mobilization policy might determine.^ For each 
imit the T/O&E prescribed the number of its officers and men, the grade and 
job of each, the proportion of various military occupational specialists, the 
arrangement of command and staff and administrative personnel, the means 
of transport and communications, the provisions for supply, maintenance, con- 
struction, and medical care, and the kind and quantity of individual and unit 
armament, together with the relationship between supporting weapons and 
consequently the normal tactics of the unit. These features of the unit in turn 
determined the degree to which it was dependent, for combat or administration, 
on other units for support. The provision of interlocking support through asso- 
ciation of units of various types was a principal function of corps and armies. 

*In 1942 organization and equipment were expressed in T/O's and T/BA's (Tables of Basic Allow- 
ances). The T/E was substituted for the T/BA by AR 310-60, as revised on 12 October 1942. The difference, 
briefly, was that a T/E was set up for each standard unit, whereas there had been a single T/BA for each 
combat arm, covering all standard units of that arm. With the revision of AR 310-60, published on 28 
August 1943, a consolidated T/O&E was issued for each standard unit. 



266 



ORGANIZATION OF GROUND COMBAT TROOPS 



T/O&E's prescribed the standard form of units wherever stationed, 
whether in the United States or overseas. It was desirable to have a uniform or- 
ganization for purposes of planning and procurement and to preserve a flexible 
situation in which units could be dispatched to any theater at will. But the cir- 
cumstances in the several theaters were widely different. It was not expected that 
the organization developed in the Zone of Interior would exactly meet the needs 
of all theaters under all conditions of combat. Theater commanders, when au- 
thorized by the War Department, were free to modify their tactical organization. 
Unit commanders in actual operations might rearrange their men and equip- 
ment or obtain additional men and equipment if possible, according to their best 
judgment of the immediate situation. The problem for the Zone of Interior 
was to provide basic minimum imits. The standard units prescribed by 
T/O&E's were designed to be basic in the sense of being adequate to a reason- 
able variety of conditions and of requiring as little readaptation as possible by 
commanders charged with the actual fighting. The units were conceived as 
minimum in the sense of having no more men and equipment than were neces- 
sary for normal operations, so that the largest possible number of units might be 
formed. Requirements for basic minimum units changed with the changing 
experience of battle. The agencies charged with organization in the Zone of 
Interior received reports of battle experience, compared reports from the several 
theaters, balanced the requests of theater commanders against availability of 
men and materials, and decided whether or not to make changes in T/O&E's 
which would affect the structure of units in all parts of the world. 

Tactical organization, while designed for combat, was indispensable to the 
preparatory effort as well Tables of Organization and Equipment were the 
basic guides to mobilization. T/0 units were the blocks out of which the Army 
was built. The total of all T/0 units constituted the major portion of the Troop 
Basis.^ The internal character of each unit, as fixed by its tables, dictated the 
total number of similar units required. The tabular strength and composition of 
each division, for example, determined the number of divisions required to make 
up a desired total of combat power. The internal limitations of the division 
likewise determined the amount of supporting field artillery, ordnance, etc. 
which had to be mobilized concurrently. The number of units needed to produce 
the required nondivisional support depended in turn on the unit tables in each 
arm and service. 



* The use of the Troop Basis in mobilization is traced above in the study, "Ground Forces in the Army, 
December 1941-April 1945: a Statistical Study." 



REORGANIZATION FOR COMBAT 



267 



Through the medium of the Troop Basis, Tables of Organization and 
Equipment estabUshed procurement objectives for personnel and materiel. The 
number of men required for the initial filling of units, the number of replace- 
ments required to keep units at tabular strength, and the number needed for each 
arm and service and for every military occupational specialty were ascertained 
through consolidation and analysis of Tables of Organization. The listing of an 
item of equipment in a unit table set up an automatic demand on the appropriate 
supply service. Multiplication by the number of units in the Troop Basis, with 
the addition of factors for replacement and reserve, gave the requirement to be 
incorporated in the Army Supply Program. 

Training also was determined by tactical organization. Basic individual 
training could be given apart from tactical units, and was so given in replacement 
training centers. But the number of men to be so trained depended on the 
application of loss ratios to the Tables of Organization of tactical units. Purely 
technical training could likewise be given apart from tactical units. Here again 
the number to be trained depended largely on unit tables; the technician, 
moreover, unless intended for rear-area assignment, was not fully proficient 
until he had been trained under field conditions in a tactical unit. As for students 
at the service schools— whether officers, officer candidates, or enlisted speciaUsts — 
the content of their instruction and the number instructed, particularly in the 
Army Ground Forces, reflected the requirements of T/O units. 

Unit and combined training and the establishment of tactical doctrine were 
naturally inseparable from tactical organization, since doctrine stated the proper 
employment of personnel and equipment, and training was essentially the 
inculcation of doctrine. It was a principle of the training program for units to 
train in the United States with the same organization, personnel, and equipment 
as they would have in combat. Actually, because of great turnover, recurrent 
shortages of personnel, and reduction of allowances of equipment, units in 
training were not exactly like units in combat. Nevertheless, the commander 
of an infantry battalion, for example, learned to handle his three rifle companies, 
to use the supporting fires of his antitank guns and heavy weapons company, to 
call for assistance from the additional weapons available in regiment and 
division, to carry on his administrative business with the personnel made avail- 
able to him, and to draw upon agencies outside the battalion when necessary. 
At the same time, all personnel, from army commanders to members of anti- 
tank platoons and rifle squads, learned the part prescribed for them in the 
organizational scheme* 



268 



ORGANIZATION OF GROUND COMBAT TROOPS 



Stability was desirable in Tables of Organization and Equipment, since 
to change them meant changes in methods of combat, tactical doctrine, training, 
mobilization objectives, procurement and assignment of manpower, and pro- 
curement and issue of equipment. Yet changes were frequendy necessary. 
Organization had to be kept abreast of combat experience. Adoption of a new 
weapon, substitution of one weapon for another, transfer of weapons from one 
echelon to another, and modifications in tactical employment, as when an 
increase of infantry in proportion to tanks was demanded, likewise made neces- 
sary the readjustment of tables. Tables of different types of units were inter- 
locking, since units were planned to supply each other's needs; hence change in 
one might send reverberations through several others. In addition, every table 
represented a compromise between conflicting desiderata, such as economy, 
self-sufficiency, fire power, mobility, and ease of supply. In every table some- 
thing was sacrificed; hence there was a constant tendency to amendment. 
T/O&E's were inherently unstable. They were subject to a continuing process 
of review and revision. 

Role of the Army Ground Forces 

In March 1942 the Army Ground Forces took over from the Chiefs of 
Infantry, Cavalry, Field Artillery, and Coast Artillery (including antiaircraft), 
whose offices were suspended, the task of preparing Tables of Organization for 
units of these arms.^ The War Department assigned this function to the Require- 
ments Section of the AGF headquarters staff. For armored units the Chief of the 
Armored Force, who survived the changes of March 1942 with functions 
unchanged, remained responsible for organization. Since the Armored Force, 
formerly independent, now became a component of the Army Ground Forces, 
the commanding general of the Army Ground Forces obtained authority over 
armored organization and equipment; but this authority was not explicitly 
assigned by the War Department in Circular 59 and was at first less direct than 
in the case of the older arms. For units of the service branches assigned to the 
Army Groimd Forces — engineer, signal, ordnance, quartermaster, medical, 
chemical, and military police — responsibility for Tables of Organization and 
Equipment was divided in March 1942 between the Army Ground Forces and 
the Services of Supply. In October 1942 these powers with respect to service units 

• (i) Cir 59, WD, 2 Mar 43- (2) WD Itr SPXPC 320.3 (3-13-42) to CGs AGF, AAF, SOS, 31 Mar 42, 
sub: Policies Govcrninjf T/O&E's. 320,3/123, 



REORGANIZATION FOR COMBAT 



269 



of types assigned to the Ground Forces were concentrated in the commanding 
general of the Army Ground Forces.* With this change, and with the elimination 
of the Chief of the Armored Force in 1943 and the assimilation of armor to the 
status of the older arms, the headquarters of the Army Ground Forces obtained a 
uniform degree of control over the organization and equipment of all units 
designated as Ground Forces. The Requirements Section, Headquarters, Army 
Ground Forces, became the agency responsible for reviewing about 400 Tables 
of Organization and Equipment, assisted in practice by other sections of AGF 
headquarters, the schools of the arms, the Armored, Tank Destroyer, and 
Airborne Centers, the Antiaircraft Command, and the relevant branches of 
the Army Service Forces.' 

Before March 1942 the War Department General Staff had been responsible 
for coordinating and harmonizing the tables prepared by the chiefs of the various 
arms and services, and for developing the organization of units of the combined 
arms — armies, corps, and divisions. These tasks were decentralized in 1942 by 
delegation to the Army Ground Forces, which, however, could not effectively 
plan the organization of armies, corps, and divisions until, in October 1942, 
control was obtained over the organization of service units within these com- 
mands. In general, the work of the Army Ground Forces in tactical organiza- 
tion represented an integration of certain functions of the old branch chiefs and a 
devolution of certain functions of the War Department General Staff. 

The Army Ground Forces never had final authority over organization. 
Approval of the War Department General Staff continued to be required for 
all T/0&E*s before publication by The Adjutant General, and for policies of 
organizing T/O units into armies and corps. Final authority could hardly repose 
elsewhere than in the War Department itself, since organization profoundly 
affected all stages of the military effort from procurement to combat. The Army 
Ground Forces developed, prepared, planned, reviewed, and recommended. In 
practice, with exceptions to be seen below, the recommendations of the Army 
Ground Forces were almost automatically accepted by the War Department. 
This was because the Army Ground Forces had the skilled personnel familiar 
with the details of organization — a personnel originating in 1942 in the physical 
transfer of individuals from the ofi&ces of the chiefs and from the War Depart- 

* Sec below, pp. 288^12] 

•(1) AGF memo for G~4 W^D^ i Dec 43> sub! 1*/£*s* 320.3/674* (2) AGF memo (S) for G~3 W^D* 
24 Jan 44, sub: Standing Operating Procedure (SOP) for Processing TOficBA's. 320.3/103 (S). The Organi- 
zation Division, Requirements Section, was headed by Col. Leonard H. Frasier, GSC 



270 



ORGANIZATION OF GROUND COMBAT TROOPS 



ment General Staff — and because AGF personnel, before recommending 
changes in tables, made the necessary study of repercussions on the Troop Basis, 
the supply program, and the combat value of units. 

The activities of the Army Ground Forces with respect to tactical organiza- 
tion can be divided for convenience into four successive periods. 

The first lasted from March to about October 1942, It was characterized by 
the incompleteness of authority exercised by the commanding general of the 
Army Ground Forces, by piecemeal modification of the tables of certain units, 
chiefly in the direction of reduction of motor vehicles, and by an increasing 
realization of the need for economy. 

The second period, extending roughly from October 1942 to October 1943, 
was a year of assiduous and systematic activity in which the Army Ground Forces 
reviewed the organization of armies, corps, divisions, and nondivisional units, 
clarified the mission and functions of each, and strove to obtain an economical 
organization, to the end that available men and equipment might be shaped 
into the largest possible number of units, and that each imit, after being labor- 
iously shipped overseas, might deliver a maximum of combat power. In this 
period the headquarters of the Army Ground Forces assumed a strong leadership 
in matters of organization. It was during the second period that the shape and 
structure of forces used in World War II were to a large extent determined. 

In the third period, extending from the end of 1943 into 1945, the organiza- 
tional changes of the second period were put increasingly to the test of combat, 
chiefly in Europe. Initiative in matters of tactical organization passed from the 
Army Ground Forces to the theater commanders. The role of the Army Ground 
Forces consisted largely in analyzing, comparing, evaluating, and recommending 
action upon theater requests for increases or modifications in allowances of 
personnel and equipment. 

The fourth period saw organizational changes incident to redeployment 
for a war concentrated in the Pacific. The changes proposed in this period, 
reflecting the experience acquired in the third, are described in the study in this 
volume entitled "Reorganizing for Redeployment." 

In the first two periods the great bulk of ground combat forces remained 
in the United States awaiting commitment to battle. The combat experience 
of American forces was limited in scope, and confined to the special conditions 
of island, desert, and mountain warfare. Planning of tactical organization could 
be based only in small part on recent experience of United States forces. It 



REORGANIZATION FOR COMBAT 



271 



therefore had to be determined largely from an analysis of foreign experience, 
intimate understanding of the United States Army, and interpretation of the 
more fundamental principles of military art. 

Guiding Ideas of General McNair 

In these circumstances it was of the utmost importance that in the formative 
period the Army Ground Forces was commanded by Lt, Gen. Lesley J, McNair, 
who was by experience and inclination an expert in tactical organization, 
certainly one of the foremost experts in the Army. He personally directed his 
staff on this subject, and the organization with which American ground forces 
entered combat in World War II was to a large extent the product of his mind. 

General McNair's understanding of tactical organization, while drawn 
from many previous experiences and from study and recollection of World 
War Ij was especially strengthened in the field exercises of 1937 and 1939, in 
which War Department plans for tactical reorganization were tested. From 
these exercises had come the triangular infantry division used by the United 
States in World War IL General McNair had been chief of staff of the division 
which had conducted the tests. These were perhaps the most searching and 
thorough tests ever made of so large a unit in the United States during peacetime. 
They were planned to be as realistic as conditions of peace and the lack of funds 
and of sufiScient modern equipment permitted. General McNair had determined 
how the general questions set by the War Department should be broken down 
into specific problems for testing, how personnel, armament, and equipment 
should be apportioned for each problem, and how the problems should be 
umpired and the results appraised. Beginning with the fundamental study of 
the infantry rifle squad, an entire divisional organization was put together piece 
by piece. Matters on which alternative ideas were tested included the following: 
frontages and fire power per man and per unit; ammunition allowances; 
transportation capacities; motor columns; the requirement for artillery in pro- 
portion to infantry, with consideration of calibers, ranges, trajectories, and 
capacities for concentration; the echeloning of automatic rifles, machine guns, 
and mortars in the infantry regiment, battalion, company, and platoon; the per- 
sonnel, time, and equipment needed for maintenance of weapons and vehicles; 
the time elapsed in transmission of orders from division headquarters to front- 
line units; the time elapsed in hauling ammunition and supplies to front-line 
units from the railhead; and the amount of service support to be incorporated 



272 



ORGANIZATION OF GROUND COMBAT TROOPS 



in the division and the degree to which the division, in the interests of its own 
mobility and striking power, should depend on corps and army for supporting 
services and reinforcing weapons. Findings on these and other questions, in 
the form of concrete data and statistics, were embodied in an extensive report 
drafted by General McNair." By no means all the recommendations in this 
report were adopted- The War Department, while reducing the old square 
division of 22,000 men to a triangular division totaling about i s,ooo, did no t 
reduce to the strength of 10,275 recommended in the report, (Scc lTablc No. il ) 
General McNair carried over into his command of the Army Ground 
Forces not only the mass of knowledge acquired in the tests of 1937 and 1939 
but also a rigorous sense of what was meant by fact as distinguished from theory 
or speculation, a tendency to deflate claims not based on full attention to de- 
tail, and a grasp of principles of organization developed by long reflection on 
the subject and by having seen the application of these principles in the field. 
He was peculiarly qualified to assimilate into a balanced judgment the frag- 
mentary combat experience of American forces in 1942 and 1943, the experi- 
ence of foreign armies so far as it was known, and the views of specialists under 
his own conunand. He attempted to keep in proper perspective the views of 
the specialist and of the man on the spot, believing both too much inclined to 
forget the larger team. Specialists, particularly in the newer fields such as avia- 
tion, armor, psychological warfare, psychiatry, morale-building, and the more 
elaborate forms of military intelligence, easily exaggerated the importance of 
their own contribution and were frequently impatient of criticism from outside 
their own circles. The evaluation and control of a multitude of specialties con- 
stituted one of the most difficult and important problems of World War IL 
The man on the spot, locally responsible for a particular mission, likewise tended 
to resist control, strive for self-sufficiency, and assure the success of his mission 
by gathering under his own command as large a proportion of the manpower 
and resources of the United States as possible. The theater commanders repre- 
sented this tendency on the largest scale. With so many theaters it was impos- 
sible to give any one theater conmiander the freedom given to General Pershing 
in World War L The evaluation and control of theater demands was therefore 
another major problem of World War IL General McNair always insisted that 
the only final test of military organization, as of training and equipment, was 
combat. One of his first steps was to request the War Department to obtain 

' "Report of the Field Service Test of the Proposed Infantry Division," with appendices A-F, 21 Mar 38. 
Army War College Records, McNair Papers. 



REORGANIZATION FOR COMBAT 



detailed reports from overseas on the adequacy of organization and equip- 
ment/ But he was not awed by commanders who had been in combat, believing 
that many decisions could best be made in the Zone of Interior, especially in 
1942 and 1943, when only minor elements of the enemy ground forces were 
being engaged by American troops. He noted for the Requirements Section of 
his headquarters after his visit to Africa in April 1943: * 

I talked to General Patton about armored organization as much as the available time 
permitted. At first he was against a reorganization of the armored division . . - , but after 
a brief explanation of our proposals he seemed to go along quite wholeheartedly. I was 
impressed rather forcibly and generally with the fact that the people over there arc fighting 
and have given only fleeting consideration to organization. Even though they have the 
prestige born of combat experience I certainly feel that their offhand and fragmentary views 
are not infallible. 

By 1944, as will be seen, General McNair was more willing to yield to theater 
opinion. 

General McNair's leading idea in tactical organization was a simple and 
definite one: to concentrate a maximum of men and materials in offensive 
striking units capable of destroying the enemy's capacity for resistance. The 
derivatives of this idea were many. One was to have a minimum of noncom- 
bat soldiers, to hold down nontactical overhead, and to make tactical staffs 
small and efficient. Headquarters companies, staffs, and administrative per- 
' sonnel should be kept small by elimination of unnecessary links in the chain of 
command and by reduction of paper work dirough the use of verbal orders. 
Combat units should be streamlined for quick, decisive action; they should have 
only such personnel and equipment as they require at all times. What a unit 
needed only occasionally should be held in a reserve pool under higher head- 
quarters. Such pools not only kept personnel and equipment from idleness but 
also permitted rapid massing for concentrated use. Transport and special equip- 
ment of all kinds should be assigned sparingly and pooled where possible. 
Weapons and imits primarily defensive in character should absorb as little as 
possible of the national resources. Special-type units and excessively specialized 
personnel, useful on certain occasions only, should be discouraged. Links in the 
chains of supply and administration should be cut; divisions and corps should 
be lightened, with their overhead machinery relegated to armies. 

'Memo of Gen McNair for OPD, i8 Apr 42, sub: Improvement of Equip and Orgn, US Army. 475/518. 
• AGF M/S (S)» CO to Rqts, 21 May 43, sub: Proceedings of Harmon Bd. 319.1/13 (NATO) (S). 



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276 



ORGANIZATION OF GROUND COMBAT TROOPS 



These ideas were widely accepted. They were applications of the traditional 
principle of economy of force. Some of them, such as the emphasis on mobile 
warfare, the streamlining of the division, and the use of pools, had been accepted 
as basic by the War Department since 1935.* No one advocated waste, unwieldi- 
ness, or dispersion. Disagreement arose in the judgment of concrete cases. 
Characteristic of General McNair was the close attention he gave to the concrete 
and the strictness with which he defined, interpreted, and applied the principles 
which no one questioned in theory. In practice there were many obstacles to 
successful achievement of an economy of force. There was the disposition of 
every unit to demand additional men and equipment. There was the habit of 
"empire building," the tendency of an arm, service, or specialty to multiply 
its functions as if in an effort to win the war alone. There was a tendency, 
deeply rooted in American life, to encumber the military establishment with 
comforts and conveniences, machines and inventions, technicians and experts, 
specialized services, and complex agencies of control. Effects were cumulative; 
an increase in the number of dentists, for example, involved an increase of dental 
technicians; dentists and technicians had to be fed; dentists, technicians, and 
cooks had to be transported; dentists, technicians, cooks, and drivers required 
medical care; dentists, technicians, cooks, drivers, and doctors needed clothing; 
hence quartermasters had to be added; since all personnel required coordination, 
headquarters staffs would have to be enlarged; in the end a demand for still 
more dentists developed. General McNair resolutely set himself against such 
proliferation, which added nothing to the fighting strength of the Army. 

Tactical Organization in March 1^42 

The accepted principles of organization were announced by the War De- 
partment in a directive of 31 March 1942,^^ To guide the three major commands 
in the drafting of Tables of Organization certain rules were laid down which 
came to be called the **Ground Rules," setting ceilings on overhead personnel 

• (i) WD Itr AG 320.2 (11-4-35) Misc F-M, 5 Nov 35, sub: Reorgn of the Div and Higher Units. 
(2) Army War College, Rpt of Sp Committee, 2-1936-12, Vol I, 21 Dec 35, sub as above. (3) WD staff 
study, 30 Jul 36, sub: Initial Rpt of the Orgn Comminee on Modernization of the Army with Sp Ref to the 
Inf Div. All in AWC Records, 52-72. 

"WD Itr SPXPC 320.2 (3-13-42) to CGs AAF, AGF, SOS, 31 Mar 42, sub: Policies Governing 
T/08tBA*$. 320.3/123. Reissued memo W 310-9-43, WD, 22 Mar 43, sub as above, and memo W 310-44, 
WD, 26 Jan 44> sub as above. 



REORGANIZATION FOR COMBAT 



277 



such as cooks, orderlies, mechanics, and chaplains' assistants, and encouraging 
other economies such as the substitution of trailers for trucks. Everything de- 
pended on the definition and enforcement of these rules by the major commands. 

Large-unit organization in March 1942 embodied the outcome of the re- 
forming ideas of the 1930's and of the establishment of the Armored Force in 
July 1940. The March directive enumerated six types of divisions: infantry, 
motorized, armored, airborne, mountain, and cavalry. 

Infantry divisions were barely emerging from a tumult of reorganization. 
The main features of the new plan — triangular structure through elimination 
of the brigade, adaptation to conditions of open warfare, and use of motor 
transportation only — had been discussed in the Army since the early thirties. 
They had in fact been urged by General Pershing in 1920, tentatively endorsed 
by the War Department in 1935, and tested in the field in 1937 and 1939. Not 
until 1940, however, after the collapse of France, did these ideas crystallize in 
an approved Table of Organization. The Regular Army divisions were then 
physically reorganized. Not until after Pearl Harbor did it prove feasible to 
bring the National Guard divisions into conformity with the new system. The 
purely wartime divisions, which began to be activated in March 1942, followed 
the new pattern from the start. 

The infantry division was stated by the War Department on 31 March 
1942 to comprise approximately 15,500 men, to be "a general purpose organiza- 
tion intended for open warfare in theaters permitting the use of motor trans- 
port," and to have organically assigned to it a minimum of artillery and auxiliary 
elements, "on the assumption that the division is part of a larger force from 
which it can obtain prompt combat and logistical support." The division in 
normal employment presupposed corps troops and army troops. It used motor 
transport only. It had rid itself of the mixed horse and motor transport which 
complicated the problem of troop movement and supply and which still char- 
acterized the German infantry division. But it did not have transportation to 
move all personnel and equipment simultaneously. 

The motorized division was an infantry division equipped to move all of 
its elements simultaneously by motor. It was designed for use in conjunction 
with armored divisions. No actual motorized divisions existed until April 1942, 
at which time the 6th, 7th, 8th, and 9th Infantry Divisions were converted to 
motorized divisions. The 4th and 90th Infantry Divisions were motorized 
shortly thereafter. Motorized divisions were planned at this time in a ratio of 
one motorized to two armored divisions. Their organic strength was over 16,000, 



278 



ORGANIZATION OF GROUND COMBAT TROOPS 



and they were somewhat more liberally provided with auxiliary elements than 
the infantry division^ "on the assumption that the division may operate inde- 
pendently for limited periods." 

The armored division, introduced into the Army in September 1940, was 
undergoing reorganization under the auspices of the Armored Force in March 
1942. In its new form it had a strength of almost 15,000 and included 390 tanks. 
Six armored divisions had been activated; there were expectations of having 
almost fifty. The armored division was strong in auxiliary elements, **on the 
assumption that the division may operate independently for long periods." 

Airborne and mountain divisions in March 1942 existed only on paper. The 
airborne division had no Table of Organization, It was viewed as a task force 
to be formed for a particular mission by assigning air transportation to elements 
of a normal infantry division reinforced by parachute troops. The mountain 
division, for which a T/O had been developed, was stated to consist of three 
mountain regiments with appropriate support, using pack transportation and 
numbering about 15,000 men. Cavalry divisions, of which two were active 
in March 1942, preserved the old square or brigade formation but were small 
in size, totalling about 11,000 men. It was decided in May 1942 to maintain the 
cavalry divisions as horse units, extending mechanization in the cavalry only to 
the nondivisional regiments and squadrons and to the cavalry components of 
infantry and armored divisions. 

It was the policy of the War Department to assign organically to the division 
only such forces as were needed for normal operations. The concept of normal 
operations varied for the several types of divisions. It was thought that the 
armored division might normally operate at a considerable distance from the 
mass of the forces, the motorized division somewhat less so, the infantry division 
least so. Hence what the armored or motorized division needed in the way of 
organic elements of maintenance, supply, road repair, and other functions was 
more than what the infantry division needed, since the infantry division could 
habitually draw support from corps and army. But even the armored division 
was in principle held to a minimum. 

The policy of minimum organic assignment to the division resulted in the 
accumulation of a large number of nondivisional units. The more the division 
was streamlined, the more nondivisional support was required. The strength of 
nondivisional forces, solely of types required in the combat zone, was greater 
than the strength of all divisions combined. By the end of 1944 it was 1,541,667 
as compared with 1,174,972 for divisions of all types. 



REORGANIZATION FOR COMBAT 



279 



In March 1942, nondi visional units were grouped at three levels — corps 
troops, army troops, and the GHQ reserve. Army and corps each had a normal 
quota of units. As the division had an organic content set forth in its Table of 
Organization, so the army and corps each had an organic content set forth in 
Troop Lists describing the "type" army and the "type" corps. As the T/O in- 
fantry division consisted organically of three infantry regiments plus division 
units of other arms and services, so the type corps consisted organically of three 
divisions plus specified corps troops, and the type army consisted organically of 
three corps plus specified army troops. Units not organic in division, corps, or 
army constituted the GHQ reserve. Such units, relatively few in number, were 
available for attachment as needed to armies, which in turn might attach them 
to corps or divisions. 

The type army and type corps were like the division in having an organic 
structure. Their purpose, like that of the division, was to combine dissimilar 
elements into balanced wholes. Unlike the division they were used chiefly for 
planning, to facilitate the mobilization and training of balanced forces. It was 
understood that in actual operations armies and corps would consist of such 
forces as might be assigned or attached in the immediate situation. 

In addition to the normal corps there existed the cavalry corps, provided 
for in the tactical doctrine of the Army but never activated in World War II, 
and the armored corps, introduced in 1940 and physically represented by the 
I and II Armored Corps in March 1942, The armored corps was not a type 
organization for planning; it was thought of as a combat force to control the 
operations of two or more armored divisions, together with such supporting 
troops as might be provided for specific missions. The idea of an armored army, 
put forward from time to time by the Armored Force, had never been approved 
by the War Department. 

Changes made by the Army Ground Forces in tactical organization, from 
March 1942 to the close of the formative period at the end of 1943, will be 
considered in the following sections in some detail. By definition, organization 
implies mutual and simultaneous relationships, and it does not lend itself readily 
to verbal presentation. In whatever manner the subject is arranged, parts of it 
belonging together will be separated by many pages. The basic facts in a mass 
of complexities may be stated in advance. 

The organization developed by the Army Ground Forces represented the 
impact of General McNair's most firmly held convictions upon principles already 
basically accepted by the War Department. The aim was to obtain flexibility 



28o 



ORGANIZATION OF GROUND COMBAT TROOPS 



and economy, which were essentially the same since flexibility meant freedom 
to use personnel and equipment where they would produce the most effective 
results. The trend may be described as away from the idea of the type force 
and toward the idea of the task force. In other words, it was away from the 
organic assignment of resources to large commands according to ready-made 
patterns, and toward variable or ad hoc assignment to commands tailor-made for 
specific missions. The tendency away from organic assignment was evident in 
the disappearance of the type army and the type corps, in the dissolution of bri- 
gades and nondivisional regiments, and in the reshaping of divisions and other 
T/O units according to organic minima redefined at lower levels. The tendency 
toward tailor-made commands, that is, task forces, was evident in the emphasis 
placed on the idea that armies and corps should consist of whatever troops were 
necessary for the mission, that the division would normally enter combat rein- 
forced by attachment of nondivisional elements according to circumstances, 
and that actual fighting would be carried on, not so much by the T/O infantry 
regiment, for example, as by a combat team made up of the infantry regiment 
with attached artillery, engineers, and other elements. The emphasis on attach- 
ment, the virtual disappearance of organic troops from the corps and army, and 
the confinement of organic troops of the division to a strictly defined minimum 
made necessary extensive pools of nondivisional units. These nondivisional 
pools became in effect GHQ reserve troops; they functioned as army troops 
or corps troops when specifically allotted to an army or corps. Divisions likewise 
became in effect GHQ reserve, since they were no longer organic in corps but 
were assigned as needed. The whole Army became, so to speak, a GHQ reserve 
pool from which task forces could be formed — whether called by this name, 
like the Task Force "A" which sailed for North Africa in October 1942, or 
called more conventionally corps or armies. 



IL The Tightening Pinch, 
March-October, 1942 



Mobility versus Transportation 

The advent of war and the need of conducting operations on the far side of 
oceans brought to light a paradox by no means new in miUtary history, namely 
that armies may be immobilized by their own means of transportation. The 
quantity of motor vehicles provided for combat units in prewar planning, mainly 
with an eye to mobility under field conditions in the United States, greatly added 
to the requirements of units for ship space and hence reduced the number of 
units that could be sent overseas. The more vehicles were used overseas the more 
ship space was required for fuel, lubricants, spare parts, replacement vehicles, 
drivers, and repair crews, and the less was available for combat personnel, 
weapons, and ammunition/ 

In March 1942 a plan was adopted to send thirty divisions to the United 
Kingdom for a crossrChannel operation in April 1943.^ The Army Ground 
Forces on 2 April 1942 informed the War Department that forces would be avail- 
able.^ The bottleneck was shipping. The number of United States troops intended 
for the operation had to be reduced.* Army Ground Forces was informed that 
General Marshall desired "maximum practicable reduction of motor transport 

*Sec (i) personal Itr of Gen McNair to Brig Gen G. R. AlUn, 9 Jan 41. McNair Correspondence. 
(2) Memo of Gen McNair for G-3 WD, 31 Jan 42, sub: Substitution of Combat Engr Regt for Gen Scrv 
Rcgt in Type Army. GHQ Records, 322.1 1/7-5. 

'Memo (S) of the CofS USA for the President, undated, but earlier than 2 Apr 4I) sub: Basis for Prep 
of Attached Oudine Plan for Invasion of Western Europe. AGF Plans Sec file, 20/1 (Bolero) (S), 

■AGF memo (S) for OPD, 2 Apr 42, sub: Opns Plan — ^Western Europe. AGF Plans Sec file, 20/2 
(Bolero) (S). 

*Memo (S) of Col Lemnitzer, AGF for CofS AGF, i May 42, sub: Meeting of Bolero Committee. AGF 
Plans Sec file, ao/6 (Bolero) (S). 



282 



ORGANIZATION OF GkOUND COMBAT TROOPS 



and of administrative overhead in all types of units to save cargo space," In 
addition, it v/as estimated in May 1942 that because of shortages of materials, 
notably rubber, the expected use of motor vehicles in 1942 and 1943 v/ould be 
cut 20 to 33 percent.* 

Until October 1942 the Army Ground Forces labored under handicaps in 
its efforts to economize. Nev/ Tables of Organization had been approved by 
the War Department immediately before the reorganization of 9 March/ 
These had enlarged the infantry division and added 219 motor vehicles by 
expanding infantry battalion headquarters detachments into headquarters com- 
panies and by adding a cannon company to each infantry regiment. The tables 
just decided upon could not immediately be reconsidered. Attempts to reduce 
motor transport therefore v/ent f orv/ard vi^ithout a corresponding revievi^ of per- 
sonnel and equipment.® The Army Ground Forces lacked full control even 
over the infantry division, since the Services of Supply shared responsibility for 
service elements in the division, with the chief of each technical service feeling 
a primary interest in units of his own branch. It u^as the natural ambition of 
each chief to supply everything requested of him with unstinting hand. Tables 
of Basic Allov/ances (T/BA's) were not closely coordinated with Tables of 
Organization. The Services of Supply, v/hile it referred T/O's of AGF service 
units to the Army Ground Forces, for a time settled T/BA's of such units v/ith- 
out consultation.* Not until 1943 was the publication of Tables of Organization 
and Tables of Equipment combined in a single document. 

Four days after the reorganization of the War Department the Services 
of Supply issued a directive authorizing automotive maintenance officers on the 
staffs of large AGF units — one for each infantry division, two for each armored 
and motorized division and for each corps, four for each army, and eleven for 
the headquarters of the Army Ground Forces.^° Several hundred officers were 
thus required. General McNair immediately protested. Such measures, he said, 
"go far beyond any demonstrated necessities. They are establishing a military 

' Memo (S) of Col Winn, AGF for Col Parks, AGF, 1 1 Jun 42, sub : Bolero Conference, 1 1 Jun 42, AGF 
Plans Sec file, 20/30 (Bolero) (S). 

*WD memo (C) WDGS 451 (5-10-42) for CGs AAF, AGF, 12 May 42, sub: Reduction in Require- 
ments of Motor Vehicles. 451/13 (C). 

'Published tables dated i Apr 42. 

' AGF M/S (S), Rqts to G-4, G-3, CG, 27 Oct 42. 320.2/383 (S). 

•M/R on cpy of AGF memo for CG SOS, 17 Jun 42, sub: T/O & T/BA*s for units of SOS with AGF. 
320.3/348. 

" WD Itr SP 320.2 (2-20-42) OP-A-M, 13 Mar 42, sub: Allotment of Offs as Assts to G-4. 320.2/1914, 



REORGANIZATION FOR COMBAT 



283 



and civilian overhead, and a mass of paper work and ritual, which I know from 
personal experience are unwarranted," General Marshall, in a personal reply, 
explained that the directive, prepared before, the reorganization, had not origi- 
nated in the Services of Supply, but he insisted that a solution for the problem 
of motor maintenance must be found.^^ The incident illustrated two theories of 
administration. One way to have new duties performed was to provide addi- 
tional personnel. General McNair's way, an outgrowth of his experience and 
personal habits, was to assign the new duties, especially new supervisory duties, 
to men already on the job. He believed that most people could work harder 
than they did. 

General McNair, who as Chief of Staff of General Headquarters, U. S, 
Army, had had no direct authority over organization, turned his attention to it 
immediately on assuming command of the Army Ground Forces. He wrote to 
Lt. Gen. Brehon B. Somervell, Commanding General of the Services of Supply, 
as follows:" 

The triangular division was initiated some five years ago with the primary purpose of 
streamlining the organization and rendering it more effective in combat. Since the reorgani- 
zation there has been a steady succession of changes, all in the direction of returning to the 
cumbersome and impracticable organization of the old square division. It is felt mandatory 
that every proposal which increases overhead must be resisted if the division is to be effective 
in combat. 

The strength of the triangular division, as suggested by a War Department 
committee in 1936, had been 13,552; as recommended in the report drafted by 
General McNair in 1938, 10,275; as adopted in 1940, 14,981; as amended in 1941, 
15,245; and under the new 1942 tables, 15,514.^* 

Success in trimming down the division, before October 1942, was confined 
largely to reduction in the infantry and artillery components, the arms over 
which the Army Ground Forces had control; and, within these, to reductions of 
motor transport, since persoimel and equipment other than vehicles were not 
considered. Truck transport was examined in microscopic detaiL 

General McNair believed that the current tables were extravagant in their 
provision of transportation for motor maintenance, that is, of vehicles with 

"Memo of Gen McNair for CofS USA, 17 Mar 42^ sub: WD Itr SP 320,2 (2-20-42) OP-A-M-13 
Mar 42. 020/28. (Correct symbol for letter discussed in memo is SP 320.2 (2-2-42) OP-A-M-13 Mar 42.) 

"Personal memo of CofS USA for Gen McNair, 31 Mar 42, sub as above. 320.2/1914. 

" (i) Memo of Gen McNair for CG SOS, 29 May 42, sub: Coordinated Automotive Maint. 451/666. 
(2) Memo of Gen McNair for CG FF, 2 Feb 42, sub: FA Orgn, Triangular Div. GHQ Records, 320.2/37 
(FA)-F. 

"See Table No. i, pp. 474-75- 



284 



ORGANIZATION OF GROUND COMBAT TROOPS 



accompanying tools used for the repair and upkeep of other vehicles. He wrote 
to General Somervell on 21 April 1942: 

We discussed this matter briefly the other day by telephone. As a result, you designated 
one of your officers to investigate the possibility of reducing the number of trucks devoted 
to motor maintenance. The particular case studied — the infantry regiment — was brought 
to a much more rational basis, in my judgment, but I still feel that too much transportation 
is devoted to motor maintenance. The matter can be corrected only by something approaching 
a major operation. Everyone appreciates that operations now definitely in view call for 
the maximum possible use of every available ship ton. Luxuries must go, and all echelons 
of the military organization must be imbued with the idea of functioning effectively with 
reduced personnel and transportation. Especially is it apparent that each unit tends to seek 
self-sufficiency, although this procedure multiplies overhead beyond all reason. 

When the present triangular division was under development, not more than five years 
ago, it was found, by over two million vehicle miles of field operations, that motor mainte- 
nance could be effected properly with a Yz-ton pick-up truck of parts and tools for each 64 
vehicles to be maintained. The principal difficulty in maintenance then, as now, was that 
the personnel concerned, principally motor officers and motor mechanics, did not work 
hard enough. There was complaint about tools and parts, some of it justified, but the 
principal difficulty was as stated. 

Admittedly the maintenance vehicles advocated by the Quartermaster Corps for proper 
motor maintenance arc utilized fully. There are very complete tool equipments and sur- 
prisingly abundant .stocks of parts. This superabundant equipment no doubt is the result 
of insistent demands by the using arms, and the desire of the QM Corps to meet those 
demands. They amount substantially to providing on wheels something approaching the 
motor shop in garrison. Such a conception is unreal under the conditions we face. Parts 
arc sufficiently available if carried in the division. The number needed in a company or 
similar unit is limited. Many tools are a great convenience, but few arc indispensable. 
The best data that I know indicate a repair in about 700 vehicle miles during tactical 
operations, and in about 3,000 vehicle miles of road movement. Under these conditions, the 
number of repairs to be made is not too formidable. Preventive maintenance calls for hard 
work, rather than elaborate equipment and transportation. 

AGF and SOS officers in conference settled upon 9 trucks and 3 trailers for main- 
tenance of the 260 vehicles in the infantry regiment. This equaled about i ton of 
maintenance per 13 vehicles maintained, a ratio considered liberal by General 
McNair, contrasting as it did v/ith the ratio of ton per 64 vehicles established in 
the tests of 1937- 

'*Memo of Gen McNair for CG SOS, 21 Apr 42, sub: Trans for Mtr Maint. 451/464. 



REORGANIZATION FOR COMBAT 



285 



The transportation required for ammunition supply of the infantry regi- 
ment was scrutinized with the same minuteness. General McNair took the view, 
familiar to railroad men, that wheeled vehicles should be kept in circulation, not 
used for storage. He noted for the Requirements Section of his staff: 

The transportation set-up in the new tables of organization is excessive because pro- 
vision is made to carry with the regiment what apparently is intended to be an adequate 
-supply for one day of active combat. This procedure results in a gross waste of transportation. 
There can be no question that provision must be made for an abundant supply of ammuni- 
tion — even a super-abundant supply — since fire dominates the battlefield. However, the 
reserve of ammunition, or any other supply for that matter, is mainly in the hauling capacity 
of its motor transportation. 

Hauling capacity was investigated thoroughly and practically under a variety of condi- 
tions during the test of the Proposed Infantry Division in 1937. Without going into details it 
may be stated generally that the number of 2^4 -ton trucks required is one-twelfth of the 
total tonnage required. The basis of this rule is: 

One-way hauling distance of 30 miles to the army supply point. 

Period of hauling of 20 hours — the night preceding the engagement and during the 
engagement itself. 

Dumps near combat positions, from which the units are supplied by weapons carriers 
or similar vehicles. 

The test referred to above, together with certain war experience, has afforded reasonably 
reliable data as to the ammunition consumption of the several weapons in battle. While 
all weapons are not used throughout a batde it is impossible to foresee which weapons will 
be used; hence it is necessary to provide for all weapons alike, based on. the maximum 
consumption by every weapon. Again, it is impossible to predict the duration of an action. 
It may be for a few hours only, or again it may be throughout daylight hours. In order to 
be on the safe side, the ammunition supply considered here will be ten times the maximum 
hourly consumption. Certainly there can be no question that such a basis is superabundant — 
even extravagant. 

Detailed computations followed, showing that about a third of the ammunition 
required in a day's combat by a battalion could be carried as the normal load of 
battalion vehicles, and that the remaining two-thirds could be hauled from 
supply points immediately before and during battle by battalion vehicles and 
regimental service uucks. General McNair estimated that twenty-five trucks 
could be saved from the current allotment to the infantry regiment. 

Savings accomplished in April and May 1942 consisted mainly in replace- 
ment of %-ton trucks in the infantry by 54-ton trucks ("jeeps") and 54-ton 
trailers, on the basis of one jeep and trailer for each %4on truck replaced; 

" AGF M/S» CG to Rqts, — Apr 42. AGF Orgn Div, Rqts Sec files. 



286 



ORGANIZATION OF GROUND COMBAT TROOPS 



and in drastic reduction of 2^ -ton trucks and i-ton trailers in the artillery^ with 
only partial replacement by trucks and trailers of lighter types.^^ Roughly a 
quarter of the lYi-ton trucks were removed from field artillery units, divisional 
and nondivisional. The infantry reductions saved about 6,500 pounds of rubber 
and 15,360 cubic feet of ship space for each regiment/^ But the saving was offset 
by the recent enlargement of battalion headquarters units and addition of 
cannon companies to the infantry regiments. With all the effort to economize, 
little net progress had been made." 

Crucial Decisions: September-October 1942 

In the later months of 1942 decisions were made which vitally affected the 
subsequent course of the war and brought into view more clearly than ever the 
need for economy in the Ground Forces. In part because of the shortage of cargo 
space, plans for a cross-Channel invasion of Europe were postponed in the sum- 
mer of 1942. Air and Service Forces, greatly expanded, filled most of the outgoing 
ship space in the following year. Such restricted ground combat operations as 
were launched in 1942 emphasized the value of compactness in Ground Force 
organization. Task Force "A," dispatched from the United States to North 
Africa in October, was obliged to leave some of its heavy equipment behind. 
Action initiated in the Southwest Pacific put an unprecedented strain on ship- 
ping facilities in proportion to the number of combat troops maintamed in the 
theater. No division left the American continent during the five months begin- 
ning with November 1942. Only seven divisions left during the ten months 
beginning with November 1942. No infantry or armored division formed after 
Pearl Harbor left the United States until December 1943 — two years after the 
declaration of war. 

On 28 September 1942 General Marshall again raised with General McNair 
the question of economizing motor vehicles as a means of conserving rubber and 
ship spacc.^° *'I have felt for a year or more," he wrote, "that our figures as to 

" Sec published T/O's of i Apr 42 with changes. 

"Incl I to AGF memo (S) for DCofS USA, 10 May 42, sub: Substitution of Trailers for Trucks in 
T/BA's. 400.34/9 (S)/ 

" (i) AGF M/S (C), CG to G-4, 29 Sep 42. 451/66 (C). (2) Memo (S) of Gen McNair for OPD, 
9 Jun 42, sub: Reduction of Trans and Substitution of Light for Heavy Vehicles in Bolero. 451/28 (S). 

"Memo (C) WDCSA 451 (9-28-42) of CofS USA for Gen McNair, 28 Sep 42, sub not given. 
45^/66 (C). 



REORGANIZATION FOR COMBAT 



287 



divisional transportation were extravagant, that they represented what a division 
commander asked for rather than meeting the problem on the basis of over-all 
requirements. I might say right here that if we gave each theater commander 
what he asks for we would have only one theater and ail the rest would have 
to be evacuated for lack of means." On 2 October the War Department directed 
the three major commands to review their Tables of Organization, eliminating 
unnecessary vehicles and excess noncombatant personnel. A cut of 20 percent in 
motor vehicles and of 15 percent in personnel was indicated as a goaL^^ 

Replying to General Marshall on 8 October, General McNair noted the 
unfairness of levying a flat percentage reduction, since some units had already 
been cut. Broadening the issue of motor transport into the larger issue of tactical 
organization, he wrote as follows: ^ 

The present regrettable excess of motor transportation is due to chiefs of arms and 
services seeking heavily and thinking narrowly, to field commanders who seek to make 
their units too self-contained, and to an over-indulgent War Department. It is futile now to 
exhort the same agencies as brought about the existing condition. It is believed that the 
remedy is one or a group of no-men empowered to: 

a. Review organization and eliminate those elements — particularly headquarters 
and auxiliary and service units — which do not pay their way definitely in combat effec- 
tiveness. One example: there are too many echelons of reconnaissance. 

Cut the transportation of a given organization to a minimum by prescribing 
the most economical type of vehicle, substituting trailers for motor vehicles, and elimi- 
nating vehicles which are not essential. One example: numerous army units need not 
move simultaneously, but can move by echelon. 

Such a person or group will cause loud complaints from the field, and conceivably 
can go too far in its efforts to economize in transportation. Nevertheless, drastic counter- 
measures are necessary to correct present conditions, and the War Department must empower 
such an agency to go into all kinds of units, and back up its findings. 

A reply from G-3, WDGS, to this recommendation revealed that the main 
hope of economy in the Army was the Army Ground Forces 

Since the reorganization of the War Department, the G-3 Division has not had an 
organization section adequate in ieither numbers or experience to give Tables of Organiza- 

"WD Itr (S) AG 400 (9-30-42) OB-S-C to CGs AGF, AAF, SOS, 2 Oct 42, sub: Review of Orgn 
and Equip Reqmts. 320.2/383 (S). 

^Mcmo (C) 06 Gen McNair for C06S USA, 8 Oct 42, sub: Excessive Number of Mtr Vehicles, 
451/66 (C). 

WD memo (S) WDGCT (10-8-42) for GG AGF, 30 Oct 42, sub a!^ above. 451/66 (C). 



288 



ORGANIZATION OF GROUND COMBAT TROOPS 



tion the careful and detailed analysis necessary for the judicious elimination of unnecessary 
equipment and individuals. 

As a result, its efforts in this direction are of necessity confined to general directives 
exhorting the major commands to review their Tables of Organization, , . . This general 
approach is admittedly inadequate. The three major commands, and in particular the Army 
Ground Forces, must be depended upon to furnish the group of "No-Men" empowered to 
ruthlessly and, if necessary, arbitrarily eliminate nonessential elements and equipment. G-3 
will stand squarely behind your efforts to this end. 

Existing Tables of Organization were apparendy designed with little appreciation of 
the fact that every soldier and piece of equipment must be moved by ^hip to a combat zone. 

In brief, General McNair's request for a strong central agency was deemed 
impossible to fulfill at this time; he must be his own "No-Man." 

The War Department strengthened General McNair's hand by granting 
him full authority over service units in the Army Ground Forces."^* All service 
units (other than those pertaining exclusively to the Air Forces) were divided 
between the Army Ground Forces and the Services of Supply for activation 
and training and for determination of organization and cquipment.^^ Those 
intended for the combat zone were assigned to the Army Ground Forces. "This 
will permit you to control motor equipment," wrote General Marshall.^ "On 
this basis," observed General McNair to his staff, "we are being handed the job 
of placing the organic transportation of the Army on a rational basis, which it is 
not at present." " 

A Reduction Board was established on 7 November 1942 at AGF head- 
quarters, composed of one officer each from the Requirements, G-3, and G-4 
sections of the staff Its mission was to reduce Tables of Organization of AGF 
units as desired by the War Department. 

The need of streamlining Tables of Organization was driven home by other 
policies adopted by the War Department in September and October 1942, With 
the postponement of plans for an early ground invasion of Europe it was decided 
to build up the air offensive at once. Plans were laid to place an air force of 
I million men overseas by the end of 1943. The number of ground troops to be 

(i) Memo of Gen Paul for CofS AGF» 18 Sep 42* 337/29- (2) AR 310-60, 12 Oct 42. 
" AGF memo (with attached papers) for CG SOS, 24 Oct 42, sub: T/0&E*s for SOS Units. 320.3/507, 
*Mcmo (S) of Gen Marshall for Gen McNair, 21 Oct 42, sub: Reduction in Transportation. 
320.2/383 (S). 

"AGFM/S (S),CGtoG-4,Rqts,23 Oct 42. 320.2/383 (S). 

" The Board was composed of Col. J. L. Whitelaw, Lt. Co!. W. J. Eyerly, Lt. Col. A. D- MacLcan. It was 
dissolved 23 June 1943. See 334/3 (R). 



REORGANIZATION FOR COMBAT 



289 



shipped in this period depended on the availability of remaining shipping.^^ 
It became necessary also to reduce the procurement program for 1943, which in 
its original form exceeded the estimated productive capacity of the United States. 
In view of the strategic decision to postpone the employment of ground troops, 
the planned procurement of AGF equipment for 1943 was cut 21 percent,^° Pro- 
curement of heavy artillery, tanks, mortars, and antiaircraft and antitank guns 
was revised downward. On 25 October 1942, in connection with mobilization 
plans for the coming year, the War Department notified the Army Ground 
Forces that 

shipping considerations may dictate a considerable change in our strategic concept with a 
consequent change in the basic structure of our Army, Since from the shipping capabilities 
indicated above, it appears that early employment of a mass Army, which must be trans- 
ported by water, is not practicable, it follows that the trend must be toward light, easily 
transportable units. . . . Recent indications arc that a further expansion of the Air Forces 
may be expected which not only will reduce the number of men available for the ground 
forces but will complicate, if not curtail, the procurement of heavy equipment for other than 
the Air Forces, 

Fourteen divisions were dropped from the mobilization program for 1943. Only 
100 divisions were now projected for 1943. Hopes of adding more in 1944 never 
materialized. With the number of units in prospect diminishing, it was clear 
that each unit must carry a maximum of effective force. 

"WD memo (S) WDGCT 320.2 Gen (10-25-42) for CGs of AGF, SOS, 25 Oct 42, sub: Troop Basis 
1943, 320.2/5 (TB 43) (S). (2) AGF M/S (S), DCofS to staff sections, 26 Oct 42. AGF Plans Sec file 185 
(TB 41) (S). 

" (t) Annex A to memo (S) JCS 134/3, 26 Nov 42, sub: Rpt of Joint Staff Planners. 040/8 (Joint ^ 
Chiefs) (S). (2) Sec also "Ground Forces in the Army, December i94i-April 1945: a Statistical Study," 
"Mobilization of the Ground Army," and ''Organization and Training of New Ground Combat Elements," 
in this volume. 

"WD memo (S) WDGCT 320.2 Gen (10-25-42) for CGs AGF, SOS, 25 Oct 42, sub: TB 1943. 
320.2/5 (TB43) (S). 



III. The Period of Economy 
October 1942-October 1943 



Although the strength of American armed forces in World War II reached 
approximately 12^350,000, the strength of combat units of the Army Ground 
Forces, including combat engineer and signal troops, never exceeded 2,300,000, 
and the strength of all ground units intended for the combat zones, including 
close-support services, never exceeded 2,700,000/ 

There v^^ere conceivably two v^^ays in which the headquarters of the Army 
Ground Forces might have sought to increase the combat strength of the ground 
army. One would have been to protest against ceilings set by the War Depart- 
ment, to demand with insistence that men and materials be furnished more 
liberally. General McNair, while he repeatedly recommended increased authori- 
zations for combatant ground troops, was not one to take issue indefinitely with 
the decisions of higher authority. In any case more men or materials would have 
been difficult to obtain, so enormous were the calls of the Air Forces, the Service 
Forces, and the Navy upon the national stock of manpower and productive 
facilities, to which must be added the requirements of foreign powers for equip- 
ment produced in the United States. Until 1944, the requirements of the Ground 
Forces did not enjoy a high relative priority. 

The other way was to organize men and materials, in the quantity provided, 
in such a manner as to produce a maximum of fighting power. It was the method 
of economy, entirely congenial to General McNair. Economy, properly under- 
stood, does not mean getting along with the least possible but getting the most 
out of what one has — not a minimizing of effort, but a maximizing of results. 
General McNair hoped, by reducing the size of units, to make it possible to 
mobilize and ship a large number of units. He hoped also, by pooling and by 
flexible organization, to make every unit available for maximum employment 
at all times. 

The need of drastic economy was not usually clear to theater commanders, 

^See l"Ground Forces in the Army. December I04^-April iQ4q:| a Statistical Study," and "Mobilization 
I of the Ground Arniy/*| in this volume. As noted in the latter, the figure 2,700,000 does not include all the 
men trained for ground combat. In World War I, according to the Report of the Superior Board on Organiza- 
tion and Tactics, AEF, i July 1919, 3,000,000 U. S. troops were scheduled to be in France early in 191 9, of 
which 640,000 were to be SOS troops, leaving 2,360,000 combat-zone troops. 



REORGANIZATION FOR COMBAT 



291 



who could not fully understand that the bottom of the barrel was in sight, at 
least for practical purposes, as far as combatant ground troops were concerned. 
Nor was General McNair*s sense of urgency in the matter always fully shared 
by his subordinate commanders in the field or by officers of the War Depart- 
ment General Staff. By the close of 1942 it was evident to General McNair that 
every man, weapon, and ship-ton made available to the Ground Forces must be 
used to the utmost, at whatever strain to individuals concerned, and that economy 
of ground forces was vital to winning the war, insofar as large ground operations 
by American troops might be essential to victory. How far this might be was 
not clear in advance even to officers of the Army Ground Forces, but it was the 
business of the Army Ground Forces to assume that large-scale ground combat 
would develop. 

The twin aspects of economy were streamlining and pooling. They were 
phases of the same organizational process. To streamline a unit meant to limit 
it organically to what it needed always, placing in pools what it needed only 
occasionally, A pool, in the sense here meant, was a mass of units of similar 
type kept under control of a higher headquarters for the reinforcement or 
servicing of lower commands, but not assigned to lower commands permanently 
and organically. Pooling occurred at all levels, from the GHQ reserve pools 
which reinforced armies down through army pools, corps pools, and division 
pools to the company pool, which, in the infantry, provided mortars and machine 
guns to reinforce rifle platoons. Like streamlining, pooling was a means of 
dealing with the overwhelming variety and specialization of equipment. It was 
also a corrective to standardization, providing flexibility to an army made up 
of standard parts. When reinforced from pools, a standard unit with a fixed 
Table of Organization could be shaped into the task force required in a 
particular situation. 

One reason for pooling, as for streamlining, was wide fluctuation in require- 
ments from day to day. No unit was organically equipped to meet peak loads. 
Any unit which habitually carried enough bridging equipment to cross the most 
broken terrain, or enough truck transport to meet rare demands for strategic 
movement, or enough medical and ordnance personnel to deal with the human 
and mechanical casualties suffered on days of intensive combat, would not only 
be wasteful of the national resources but so loaded down with usually unwanted 
appurtenances as to be disqualified to perform its normal role. Such a unit 
was streamlined by removal of bridging equipment, trucks, doctors, and repair 



292 



ORGANIZATION OF GROUND COMBAT TROOPS 



men not needed normally; and those needed to meet peak loads were 
concentrated in pools. 

Another basis for pooling was difference in the potential frontage of 
weapons, with the consequent possibility of massing fires. For example, 6o-mm. 
mortars could cover more frontage than any single rifle platoon, and were there- 
fore pooled in a weapons platoon of the rifle company, by which their fires 
could be shifted, distributed, or concentrated from the front of one rifle platoon 
to another. Similarly 8i-mm- mortars and heavy machine guns were pooled in 
the battalion, antitank guns in the regiment, field artillery in division artillery. 
The longest-range artillery, which could cover more frontage than was normal 
for a division and hence be concentrated from various directions to support a 
division making a major effort, was organized in nondivisional units under 
corps or army control. 

Differences in mobility produced the same effect. A mechanized cavalry 
squadron performing distant reconnaissance, which could cover a wider front 
than that of an infantry division, would be too restrictively employed if controlled 
by a division commander, and was therefore assigned to corps. Tanks, tank 
destroyers, and mobile antiaircraft artillery were capable of rapid concentration 
at any point along a wide front. They also lent themselves to employment in 
mass attack. General McNair therefore opposed assigning them organically 
to divisions. The extreme application of the same principle was in aviation, 
which, as the most mobile of all weapons, with a potential "frontage" extending 
far in all directions, was not commanded organically by even the highest ground 
commanders. 

Units whose mobility differed on the Aide of slowness likewise required 
separate organization. Supply depots with supplies laid out, evacuation hospitals 
filled with patients, heavy maintenance companies surrounded by disassembled 
equipment, were temporarily immobile, though operating close to combat troops 
or even located within division areas. They were organized nondivisionally so 
that the division, if opportunity presented itself, could move forward freely 
without them. In this case higher headquarters, drawing on its pools, sent 
forward wjth the advancing division new depots, new hospitals, and new main- 
tenance units temporarily in a mobile condition, leaving the old ones to clear 
themselves at leisure of the stockpiles, wounded men, and repair work which 
temporarily held them back. 

To summarize, diversity in time and space — ^variations of daily need and 



REORGANIZATION FOR COMBAT 



differences in range and mobility — underlay the decision in each case as to 
where an item should be organically assigned. A unit was streamlined when it 
had no elements (personnel, weapons, or vehicles) not needed continually, no 
elements not primarily useful against its normal objective, no elements so slow- 
moving as to impair its mobility, or so fast-moving as to be frequently usable 
elsewhere. Pools existed to make these disparate elements available when and 
where they could most profitably be employed. The advantages of streamlining 
and pooling were economy, mobility, flexibility, and the capacity for massed 
employment. The disadvantage was in the dependency of commanders of 
streamlined units, who were obliged to call for support, in all but the most 
commonplace situations, on higher commanders who might not always be able to 
provide it. Another disadvantage was that units only temporarily associated 
found it difficult to develop into smoothly functioning teams. There was there- 
fore much disagreement on many particulars of organization; nor was it possible, 
with difficulties so fundamental, to find a permanent solution which all would 
accept. General McNair judged, in the circumstances of 1942 and 1943, that the 
need of economy and flexibility was paramount. 

While pooling occurred at all levels, it was especially significant in the 
separation of nondivisional units from divisions, since the division was the 
primary unit of large-scale combat. In 1920 General Pershing had recommended 
extensive pooling under corps and army to streamline the division.^ To obtain 
a division suited for open warfare, the War Department in 1936 laid down the 
principle that mechanized forces, motor transport, bands, reserves of supplies 
and ammunition, replacements, reinforcing artillery, engineers, and medical 
and quartermaster personnel should be pooled.^ General McNair, and the 
Reduction Board working under his supervision, stood directly in this tradition. 

Pooling: the Critical Cases — Tartly, Tan\ Destroyer, 
and Antiaircraft Artillery 

Over pooling in principle there was little or no disagreement. Differences of 
opinion arose over particular cases. The most controversial of these concerned 
tanks, tank destroyers, and antiaircraft artillery, 

' 1st ind, Gen J. J, Pershing to TAG, i6 Jun 20, sub: Rpt o£ the Superior Bd on Orgn and Tactics, AEF. 
AWC Library, UA 10 U3 1919. 

'WD staif study, 30 Jul 36, sub: Initial Rpt of the Orgn Committee on Modernization of the Orgn of 
the Army. AWC Records, 52-72. 



294 



ORGANIZATION OF GROUND COMBAT TROOPS 



These highly mobile weapons were physically capable of assembly in large 
masses for a single assault, or of dispersion in close support of many small opera- 
tions. It was desirable to develop a command organization capable of using such 
physical mobility to advantage, capable, that is, of alternately gathering together 
or spreading apart large quantities of tanks, tank destroyers, and antiaircraft 
artillery. Not only mobility but also the specialized character of these weapons 
called for a flexible organization. Tanks were of limited value in certain types 
of terrain, indispensable in others. Antiaircraft guns were useful where enemy 
aviation was strong, less necessary where friendly aviation was superior. 
It was desirable to have a command organization that could concentrate 
weapons in places or situations where their characteristics could be most fully 
exploited, 

These weapons were therefore not assigned organically to divisions, with 
the major exception that the armored division of course had tanks, and the 
minor exception that the airborne division possessed a small antiaircraft battalion. 
The infantry division had organically no tank battalion, no tank destroyer 
battalion, and no antiaircraft battalion. The armored division had organically 
no tank destroyer or antiaircraft battalion. Both had antitank and antiair 
weapons of lighter types. But all tank destroyers, all antiaircraft guns except the 
simple .50-caliber machine gun, and all tanks not in armored divisions or 
mechanized cavalry were pooled in nondivisional battalions. These battalions 
were designed for attachment to divisions as needed. 

Demand for the organic inclusion of tanks in the infantry division hardly 
arose until 1944, Pooling of mechanized forces was a collateral doctrine in the 
development of the triangular division in the 1930's; after the German victories 
in 1939 and 1940, and the formation of armored divisions and of the Armored 
Force in the United States in 1940, the idea of the tank as an auxiliary to infantry 
received a further setback. It was planned to attach tank battalions to infantry 
divisions when needed. Fewer tank battalions were formed for this purpose 
than were desired by the Army Ground Forces. But it was felt generally that 
infantry would not need tanks and that tanks should be held apart for massed 
armored action where possible. Use of tanks against enemy tanks was not 
favored. Against small-scale use of tanks by the enemy, all troops had organic 
antitank weapons. Against enemy tanks assembled in large numbers, the inten- 
tion in 1942 was to rush tank destroyers to the threatened spot. Friendly tanks 



REORGANIZATION FOR COMBAT 



295 



would thus be kept free for action against targets vulnerable to armor. This 
question did not become controversial generally until 1944, 

Strong demands were made in 1942 and 1943 for the organic inclusion of 
tank destroyers and antiaircraft artillery in both infantry and armored divisions. 
General McNair resisted these demands for two reasons. First, experience indi- 
cated that the most dangerous enemy air or tank attack would occur in massed 
formations, against which it was impossible for every division to have individual 
protection, -and which must be met by masses of antitank and antiaircraft 
artillery held in mobile pools. Second, the loading of the division with defensive 
"anti" weapons went counter to General McNair's desire to encourage aggressive 
tactics and psychology in the divisions and to avoid diversion of resources to the 
production of mere countermeasures. These reasons were the stronger in 1942 
and 1943, since tank destroyers and antiaircraft guns had not yet developed a 
"secondary mission" as general-purpose artillery. 

In May 1942 the Under Secretary of War urged organic assignment of anti- 
aircraft artillery to divisions. Not convinced by General McNair's explanations, 
he applied to the Secretary, who requested from General McNair a statement of 
his views. General McNair gave his reasons, concluding that existing policy was 
only a starting point pending the lessons to be gained from combat.* The Secre- 
tary accepted this explanation. 

Among the numerous officers who believed that the division required 
stronger antiair and antitank protection, some of the most important were 
armored officers, and among these a leading figure was Lt, Gen. Jacob L. Devers, 
then Chief of the Armored Force. General Devers questioned the length to which 
the pooling principle was carried. He was not simply making a plea for his 
specialty but advancing arguments of general application. He held that occa- 
sional attachment of nonorganic units to divisions would produce poor combined 
training and poor battlefield teamwork, and that it was a doubtful way of achiev- 
ing either unity of command or economy of force. He wrote to General 
Marshall:" 

Economy o£ force is not gained by having a lot of units in a reserve pool where they 
train individually, knowing little or nothing of the units they are going to fight with. It is 

* (i) Memo (S) of USW for CG AGF, 18 May 42, sub: AA Protection for Inf Divs. 321/78 (GAG) (S). 
(2) Memos (S) of Gen McNair for SW 13 May and 29 Jul 42, sub not given. 321/78 (CAC) (S). Sec also 
AGF memo (C) for G-3 WD, 5 Nov 42, sub: AA Defense. 320.2/12 (AA) (C). 

' Memo (C) of Gen J. L. Devers for CofS USA, 1 Nov 42, sub: Gen McNair's and Col Feller's Com- 
ments. 354.2/8 (Desert) (C). 



296 



ORGANIZATION OF GROUND COMBAT TROOPS 



much better to make them a part of a division or corps, even to the wearing of the same 
shoulder patch. If they are needed elsevi^here in an emergency, they can be withdrawn easily 
from the division or corps and attached where they are needed. Economy of force and unity 
of command go together. You get little of either if you get a lot of attached units at the last 
moment. Team play comes only with practice. 

General Devers, after a trip to North Africa, recommended in February 
1943 that tank destroyer and antiaircraft equipment not only be organic in the 
division but also be assigned as far down as the battalion.^ 

The Secretary of War again called on General McNair for comment. At the 
same time, and independently, General McNair's own G-3, Brig. Gen. John M. 
Lentz, noted in a communication to General McNair: "I have come to believe 
that TD and AA equipment should be organic in divisions. The concept of at- 
tachment is sounder, but its effect has been absence of combined training," ^ 

General McNair adhered to his position, writing to the Secretary as follows:® 

General Devers raises the issue of the number and organic set-up of (i) AA guns 
(2) AT guns. Equally logically and pertinently he might have raised similar questions with 
reference to (i) GHQ tank battalions, (2) Air Base defense units, (3) Command post 
and train defense units. 

All these items involve the basic question of whether we are building an offensive or 
a defensive army — whether we are going to invest our military substance in security to the 
last detail or in elements which can be used to defeat the enemy's armed forces. 

After noting that General Devers' proposals would require 24,000 .50-caliber 
antiaircraft guns and 7,200 75-mm. antitank guns in addition to those provided 
under existing arrangements, he continued: 

Our limited manpower and production facilities can be utilized to better advantage. 

Having decided on the total resources to be devoted to these defensive elements there 
is the added question whether these resources are to be dispersed in driblets throughout our 
forces, or whether they are to be organized in mobile masses which can be concentrated at 
the decisive point under the principle of the economy of force. General Devers and his group 
obviously are dispcrsionists of the first water; I take the opposite view, believing that the 
artful concentration of forces at the vital point is the first essential in tactics. . . . 

It goes without saying that massed guns can be dispersed either partly or wholly if 
desired, but guns dispersed organically cannot be massed. 

The War Department supported General McNair, 

* Rpt (S) of the mission headed by Lc Gen Jacob L. Devers to examine the problems of armored force 
units in the European Theater of Operations. Undated (Feb 43). 319.1/32 (Foreign Observers) (S). 
^ AGF M/S (TS). G-3 to Sec GS. 16 Feb 43. 400/4 (TS), 

*Memo (TS) of Gen McNair for SW, 17 Feb 43, sub: Gen Devers' Rpt of His Observations Overseas. 
400/4 (TS), 



REORGANIZATION FOR COMBAT 



297 



The question arose in different form in May 1943, when the Army Service 
Forces proposed changes in War Department policy on the arming of service 
units. Over four times as many .50-calibcr machine guns as were scheduled were 
recommended for antiaircraft protection for installation on trucks; and 3-inch 
antitank cannon were proposed both for stationary depots and for truck convoys.* 
The Army Ground Forces, in a memorandum to the Army Service Forces in 
June 1943, pointed out that 288,134 additional .50-caliber machine guns would 
be required by the end of 1943 to carry out these recommendations, although 
only 81,683 w^^^ expected to be available by that date for combat and service 
units combined. Some 50,000 additional 3-inch guns would be required. The 
memorandum stated:^** 

At the present time the greater portion of our national resources is being used to gain 
air superiority. We are engaged also in building an army for offensive action, not defensive. 
. . . Any additions of personnel, armament or equipment for purely defensive measures 
must be held to the bare minimum. . , . 

A hostile armored threat will be countered by massing our antitank guns at the threat- 
ened point, not by dissipating our 3-inch self-propelled antitank guns by organic assignment 
to service units. 

The War Department continued to support General McNair," The principle 
of pooling antiaircraft and antitank weapons was confirmed. 

Streamlining: Wor\ of the AGF Reduction Board 

Streamlining of units, the obverse of pooling, was accomplished through 
the work of the Reduction Board created at the headquarters of the Army 
Ground Forces in answer to the War Department directive of 2 October 1942 
calling for downward revision of Tables of Organization. The Board constituted 
the committee of "No-Men" desired by General McNair. It aimed to effectuate 
the cut of 20 percent in motor vehicles and 15 percent in personnel, set as a goal 
by the War Department, without lessening the combat strength of any unit or 
upsetting the doctrine of its tactical employment. In this task, which required 

*(i) WD memo 700-9-43, 11 Feb 43, sub: Armament of Scrv Trs. AGO Records- (2) Memo (S) 
SPOPI 470 (5-1-43) for CGs AGF, AAF, 8 May 43, sub: Armament of Scrv Units. 470/16 (S). 
" AGF mciiio (S) for CX3 ASF, 15 Jun 43, sub as above. 470/16 (S). 
" WD memo 310-44, 23 Feb 44, restates WD memo 700-9-43, 1 1 Feb 43. 



298 



ORGANIZATION OF GROUND COMBAT TROOPS 



exact knowledge of every item and every individual in unit tables, the Board was 
directed and assisted by General McNair, who scrutinized every proposal of 
the Board down to the last jeep and the last mechanic, frequently saying "No" 
to his own "No-Men." 

Reductions were governed by the AGF "Ground Rules," W-hich were those 
set by the War Department on 31 March 1942 with certain exceptions and 
clarifications. The proportion of orderlies to officers was slashed; cook's helpers 
were eliminated where chauffeurs could help in kitchens; chauffeurs (also called 
light truck drivers) were to receive additional duties where possible. All "luxury" 
items were ruled out. Tents were withdrawn from company headquarters. 
Companies were limited to one portable typewriter. No chairs, tables, or safes 
were provided to headquarters below the division. No watches were issued to 
officers. Transportation was allotted for specified personnel and equipment 
only, with no reserve vehicles in the unit. Ammunition vehicles were provided 
only as necessary to haul from supply points established by higher echelons. 
More use of trailers was prescribed. Closely similar units were to be combined 
into single types. Elements whose only function was to make a unit more 
self-sufficient in security or supply were prohibited. But no offensive weapons 
were to be removed from units, and proper organization was to be developed 
for new weapons such as the antitank rocket launcher ("bazooka") then being 
issued,^^ 

In the eight months of its life, from 7 November 1942 to June 1943, the 
Reduction Board reviewed all AGF units with a handful of exceptions, methodi- 
cally squeezing out the "fat," that is, items not allowed by the Ground Rules, or 
considered nonessential after clarification of the mission of the unit and in view 
of the support provided in pools,^^ Cuts were not applied piecemeal or in a nega- 
tive mood. The whole theory of army and corps organization, and hence of 
pooling and of inter-unit support, was undergoing constructive revision at the 
headquarters of the Army Ground Forces at the same time. Each unit was 
reshaped with an eye to its place within corps or army. 

The Board found that, while basic organization was soimd, there had 
been "many variations between tables in the men and equipment considered 
necessary to do a standard job," with a general tendency *^to build up our 

"Cpy of AGF Ground Rules in AGF Orgn Div, Rqts Sec file; also attached to AGF Itrs (C) to Armd F 
and TDC, 12 Nov 42, sub; Reduction of Pers and Vehicles. 320,2/340 (C). 

"Memo of Col W. J. Eyerly for CG AGF, 26 May 43, sub: Status Rpt of the Reduction Bd. (Hereafter 
referred teas Red Bd.) 334/8 (AGF). 



REORGANIZATION FOR COMBAT 



299 



organization around a luxurious concept of operations," and a tendency "to 
assign single duties to personnel and equipment and thus compartmentalize 
personnel and equipment within sections and platoons of organizations," a 
procedure which led directly to unnecessary duplication/* The Board assumed 
that no unit smaller than the field army could generally be self-sufficient and 
that T/O units would be made sufficient for particular missions through attach- 
ments. To facilitate attachment, and as part of the army and corps reorganization, 
practically all nondivisional troops were placed under new Tables of Organiza- 
tion, with regimental and brigade tables abolished, new tables for group and 
other headquarters devised, and tables for separate (detachable) battalions and 
companies provided. 

In general, the Board effected the desired cut of 15 percent in personnel and 
20 percent in equipment. The tank destroyer battalion, for example, was reduced 
in aggregate strength from 898 to 673, and in Y^-ton trucks from 82 to 34. 

The economies proposed by the Army Ground Forces produced the "loud 
complaints from the field" which General McNair had predicted. Although 
G-3, WDGS, had promised to "stand squarely behind your efforts to this end" 
and attempted to do so, the proposals of the Army Ground Forces were in fact 
subjected to long discussion and eventual compromise. New T/O&E's were 
finally issued for most AGF units in July 1943, They represented for some of 
the most important units an upward adjustment of General McNair's 
recommendations. 

"AGF M/S, Red Bd to CofS, 8 Feb 43. AGF Orgn Div, Rqts Sec, 320.30 (Red Bd). 



IV. The Infantry Division 



Readjustments in the infantry division in 1942 and 1943 constituted a 
shrinking process, not a reorganization. The conception of the division em- 
bodied in the reforms of the thirties remained basically unaltered, namely, that 
the division should be a compact offensive force, carrying a minimum of de- 
fensive weapons, streamlined for open warfare, and backed up by units of 
other types in corps and army. The infantry division was the fundamental per- 
manent combined-arms team, intended to have the right amount of organic 
artillery and auxiliary elements to enable its infantry riflemen to move forward 
against average resistance. General McNair hoped to emphasize and clarify this 
conception by paring away the growth which tended to obscure it. His views 
were formulated in a set of Tables of Organization submitted to the War De- 
partment in February and March 1943. (See coL 5, Table No. i j pp. 274-751) 

It should be borne in mind that at this time, in the winter of 1942-43, 
although the number of divisions to be mobilized in 1943 had been curtailed, 
it was still expected that new divisions would be mobilized as late as 1944.^ 
The AGF tables outlined a division of 13,412 officers and men, over 2,000 less 
than the 1942 tables currently in effect. For a total of 100 infantry divisions, 
which still seemed a reasonable prospect, the saving of 2,000 men in each would 
save 200,000 men. On a lOO-division basis, the saving of 150 men in every divi- 
sion would provide more than enough manpower for a new division. 



The AGF Tables of March 194^ 

The smallest infantry unit, the rifle squad, remained unchanged in the new 
AGF tables.^ It remained a team of twelve men, armed with ten Mi (Garand) 



^ (i) WD memo (C) WDGCT 320 Gen (1-29-43) for CGs AAF, AGF, SOS, 29 Jan 43. sub: Reduc- 
tion of Tng Establishments and other ZI Activities. 320,2/262 (C). (2) WD memo (S) WDGCT 320.2 Gen 
(2-25-43) for G-i, G-4, OPD, AGF, SOS, AAF, 25 Feb 43, sub: TB Planning. 320.2/18 (TB 43) (S). 
The expectation is here stated of eventually having from 120 to 125 divisions within an enlisted strength of 
7,500,000. Of these, some would be arniored, airborne, etc., not standard infantry. See also above, *'MobiIiza- 
Ition ot the Ground Armv. 'l 

*This whole section is based mainly on comparison of published T/0*s of i March 1943 with those of 
1942, and on relevant materials in AGF files. On the infantry regiment and its components see (i) T/O 
7-11 and related tables and (2) AGF memo for G-3 WD, 4 Feb 43, sub: T/OficE's, Inf Regt. 321/674 (Inf). 



REORGANIZATION FOR COMBAT 



rifles, one automatic rifle, and one M1903 (Springfield) rifle. Three such squads 
formed a rifle platoon. Three rifle platoons were grouped with a weapons platoon 
to form a rifle company. The weapons platoon was modified slightly. It retained 
two .30-caliber light machine guns and three 6o-mm. mortars as its primary 
weapons. It lost two automatic rifles but gained three antitank rocket launchers 
(bazookas) and one .50-caliber machine gun, the latter for antiaircraft defense. 
Personnel of the rifle company was cut from 198 to 192 through removal of a 
transportation corporal, a truck driver, a cook's helper, a messenger, an orderly, 
and a basic private. The 27 rifle companies of the division retained a strength of 
5,184 — the close-in fighters around whom the rest of the division was built. 
Saving 6 men in each company meant saving 162 in the division, or 16,200 if 100 
infantry divisions should be mobilized. 

The heavy weapons company, with which three rifle companies were 
grouped in the infantry battalion, was cut into more deeply than the rifle com- 
pany, being reduced from 183 to 162 officers and men. Thirteen of the twenty- 
one men removed were truck drivers. Armament was strengthened by adding 
seven antitank rocket launchers and three .50-caliber machine guns to the 
prior quota of six 8i-mm. mortars and eight .30-caliber heavy machine guns. 

The headquarters company of the battalion, falling from 139 to 112, was cut 
proportionately more than the line companies, on the principle that head- 
quarters overhead should be trimmed. The loss was largely in the antitank 
platoon, on the principle that defensive personnel should be held to a minimum. 
General McNair particularly frowned upon defensive weapons earmarked for 
the security of headquarters. The four 37-mm. antitank guns assigned to the 
antitank platoon were reduced to three. The 37-mm. gun was retained despite 
adverse reports from North Africa, on the ground that it was easier to handle 
than the 57-mm. gun proposed in its place, that it was effective when used within 
its proper range, and that in any case 57's were not yet available to replace it. 
Three .30-caliber machine guns, one .50-caliber machine gun, and eight anti- 
tank rocket launchers were added to the battalion headquarters company, which 
though reduced 20 percent in personnel obtained a net augmentation of 
armament. 

By these changes, the personnel strength of the infantry battalion was re- 
duced from 916 to 850 — a saving of 66, of which only 18 were in the rifle 
companies. 

Grouped with three infantry battalions in the infantry regiment were certain 



9 



302 



ORGANIZATION OF GROUND COMBAT TROOPS 



regimental units: the regimental headquarters company; the service, antitank, 
and cannon companies; and the medical detachment. These constituted pools 
of services and weapons for support of the battalions. 

In the regimental headquarters company the main saving was in the com- 
munications platoon, which was relieved of eight truck drivers out of nine, five 
linemen out of twenty, and one switchboard operator out of three, with a net sav- 
ing of 30 percent in this platoon. Armament of the company was increased by 
eleven antitank rocket launchers and four .50-caliber machine guns. The com- 
pany emerged larger from the reorganizing process because it absorbed the 
cannon company. 

The cannon company was a novelty in 1942, recently added to T/O's, but 
still existing chiefly on paper. Discussed for years, it was adopted to meet a 
difficulty of World War I, when advance of infantry had frequently been halted 
by the inability of field artillery to displace forward as rapidly as troops on foot. 
The cannon company of 1942 comprised 123 infantrymen manning 6 self- 
propelled 75-mm. howitzers and 2 self-propelled 105-mm. howitzers. Reports 
from the few companies in operation in North Africa were inconclusive. It was 
doubted at AGF headquarters that the cannon company was essential, since the 
regiment could be paired in a combat team with a light battalion of the division 
artillery.^ The value of self-propelled artillery for this purpose was also ques- 
tioned ; it required more ship space than towed artillery, was more vulnerable on 
the battlefield, devoured more gasoline, and was too heavy for light bridges. 
The AGF tables of March 1943 abolished the cannon company, replacing it with 
three cannon platoons in the regimental headquarters company, equipped with 
six short-barreled, towed 105-mm, howitzers. Fifty-one men were saved in each 
regiment, or more than 150 in the division. 

The regimental antitank company was drastically cut from 169 to 1 17 officers 
and men. Its mine-laying platoon was abolished. Basic armament of twelve 
37-mm. antitank guns remained the same. One .50-caliber and four .30-caliber 
machine guns were added. The reorganized antitank company, with two-thirds 
the number of men, would handle more offensive weapons, but would be 
relieved of its purely defensive operation of mine laying. 

In the regimental service company twenty men were saved through economy 
in truck drivers, clerks, and mechanics. A principal function of the service 
company was to transport supplies for the line battalions. With considerable 

' AGF M/S (C), Rqts to CG, 3 Oct 42. 451/66 (C). 



REORGANIZATION FOR COMBAT 



hesitation, because needs of the battalions had been calculated closely and 
reviewed as lately as the preceding April, but under extreme pressure to econo- 
mize transportation, General McNair approved the replacement of 2^/^-ton by 
lYi-ton trucks in the new tables, the difference being made up by an increase 
in i-ton trailers.* Service company personnel, currently equipped with only small 
arms, received ten antitank rocket launchers and eight ,50-caliber machine guns 
in addition. 

The medical detachment of the infantry regiment, divided into three bat- 
talion sections, included the aid men and litter bearers who accompanied 
front-line fighters into action, and the medical officers who worked at the aid 
stations to which casualties were first brought. General McNair believed the 
Medical Department very liberal in its consumption of manpower. The follow- 
ing case, typical of his relations with the Reduction Board, illustrates his relent- 
less attention to detail. The Reduction Board recommended twelve litter bearers 
for each infantry battalion. General McNair held out for eight. The Board 
adhered to twelve. The Commanding General then replied: 

The proposal of 8 litter bearers was not made loosely, but with a considerable factor 
of safety and was based on factual data. The losses assumed were the extreme maximum of 
the World War — 15% per day of severe combat. On this basis a battalion should have about 
50 litter cases. If 4 litters cannot evacuate this number from the field to the aid station there 
is something wrong with the set-up. The average littering distance was taken as 600 yards. 
Admittedly there may be cases in difficult terrain where the organic personnel will be 
inadequate, but reinforcements, not organic increases, are the answer in this case. Reduce 
12 litter bearers to 10 as a compromise. 

The Board explained that a litter team was now four men, not two. General 
McNair scrawled in pencil: "I give up. I was basing on two men per litter. . . . 
The Medical Department has run too far to change now. Fix it as you sec fit. 
LJM." Twelve litter bearers were retained, but they operated only three litters in 
place of the four desired by General McNair, a disadvantage presumably offset 
by more rapid turnover of litters through lessening the fatigue of the bearers. 
The detachment as a whole was cut 18 percent through removal of i medical 
officer, 7 drivers, and 16 technicians. The regiment, for a personnel of approxi- 
mately 3,000, retained 7 doctors, 2 dentists, and 103 enlisted medical men, rein- 

* T/O 7-13 and AGF M/S, CG to Rqts, 2 Dec 42, 321/270 (MP). 
" AGF M/S, CG to Rqts, 28 Dec 42. 320.3/636. 



304 



ORGANIZATION OF GROUND COMBAT TROOPS 



forced when necessary from the division medical battahon or from sources 
outside the division. 

Total reduction in personnel of the infantry regiment was 384. Personnel 
was cut II percent J vehicles, 36 percent; ship tonnage, 14 percent. Only half the 
cut in the regiment was accomplished at the expense of the battalion* Half was 
in regimental overhead in the broad sense. In general^ from the rifle platoon 
back the axe fell more heavily as one moved away from the front-line soldier. 
The same was true in the remainder of the division. Reduction in infantry 
alone, totalling 1,080 for the three regiments, accounted for a little over half 
the 2,000 saved in the division as a whole, although infantry comprised almost 
three-quarters of the division. The other half was in the division artillery and 
in division overhead. 

The new tables for division artillery^ as prepared by the Reduction Board, 
were called by General McNair "a monumental advance in de-fatting," * It is 
noteworthy that General McNair, an artilleryman by training, and hence par- 
ticularly fitted to judge the requirements of that arm, attempted to reduce 
division artillery units by more than 20 percent both in 1938 and in 1943 — ^both 
times without complete success. 

Firing batteries in the artillery, like rifle companies in the infantry, lost 
proportionately the least. The 105-mm. batteries were each cut from iii to 93, 
saving 18 men, of whom only 4 were in actual gun crews, the remainder being 
headqtiarters and maintenance personnel. The 155-mm. batteries were each cut 
from 120 to 98, a saving of 22 men, of whom only 8 were in gun crews, the 
remainder being headquarters and maintenance personnel. 

In each battalion, economics in the three firing batteries accounted for less 
than half the saving. The main saving was accomplished through the consolida- 
tion, in each battalion, of the headquarters battery and the service battery in a 
combined headquarters and service battery. So trimmed down were both com- 
ponents that the new combined headquarters and service battery was hardly 
larger than the old headquarters battery alone. Twenty truck drivers, 4 me- 
chanics, 3 cooks, and 3 orderlies were saved in the combined battery. The main 
saving was in the elimination of the antitank and antiaircraft platoon of fifty-two 
men, currendy in the headquarters battery for the protection of battalion head- 
quarters. The platoon's six 37-mm. antitank guns disappeared. Sixteen antitank 

" (i) AGF M/S, CG to Rqts, 27 Nov 42. 320.3/78 (FA). (2) AGF memo for G-3 WD, 8 Feb 43* 
sub: T/OficE for Div Arty, Inf Div. 321/471 (FA). (3) T/O 6-10 and related tables. 



REORGANIZATION FOR COMBAT 



rocket launchers and an increase of .50-caliber machine guns were furnished the 
battery for protection in emergencies, fundamental protection of artillery head- 
quarters being left to surrounding infantry units. The medical detachment was 
cut almost one-third. 

Primary armament of the division artillery remained unchanged — twelve 
155-mm. howitzers and thirty-six 105-mm, howitzers. Personnel, including at- 
tached medical, was reduced from 2,555 2,002 (22 percent) ; vehicles, from 
603 to 495 (18 percent); and ship tonnage from about 12,000 to about 9,400 
(22 percent). 

Infantry and artillery constituted the combat elements of the division, while 
everything else was in the nature of overhead. Before proceeding with a discus- 
sion of this overhead, it is well to recall that additional combat elements, held 
in nondivisional pools, might be attached to the division for particular opera- 
tions. A division might thus be reinforced by a mechanized cavalry squadron, 
by one or more field artillery battalions of any appropriate caliber, by a chemical 
battalion manning 4.2 mortars, or by tank, tank destroyer, or antiaircraft bat- 
talions as described above. Attachment of some of these units, especially tank, 
tank destroyer, and antiaircraft units, became the normal practice when combat 
developed on a large scale in 1944, with the result that a division commander 
usually commanded well over 15,000 men. 

A word of review is in order on protection against tanks and aircraft. These 
weapons, if massed, could not threaten all divisions simultaneously. A division 
most threatened was best protected by the pooling of coimterweapons. For 
''normal" daily protection against occasional aircraft or small tank units the 
division had organic defenses. For antiair defense, 224 ,50-caliber machine guns 
were distributed through all components. For antitank protection more than 500 
rocket launchers were widely distributed, with a pooling of antitank guns in 
battalion headquarters and in the regimental antitank companies. In organic 
divisional antitank defense, the tendency was to place less reliance on special 
antitank units, and to provide weapons by means of which individual soldiers 
could rely more largely on themselves. Antitank guns were reduced in number 
at infantry battalion headquarters and were removed altogether from field 
artillery battalion headquarters. The infantry antitank company was "de-fatted." 
Concurrently, rocket launchers were issued as far forward as the weapons platoon 
of the rifle company. Individuals of the rifle platoons were equipped with anti- 
tank rifle grenades. Thus an echeloned antitank defense was set up, beginning 



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REORGANIZATION FOR COMBAT 



with the rifleman's grenades and improvised weapons, passing through rocket 
launchers and antitank guns, including artillery pieces of the division, most of 
which could be used against tanks, and culminating in mobile tank destroyers 
to be attached in the event of heavy armored attack. 

In passing to overhead elements of the division, it should be noted at once 
that the term is used with reservation, since all elements of the division were 
statistically classified as combat troops. All except the medical battalion were 
strongly armed. But the engineer, signal, ordnance, quartermaster, medical, and 
military police units within the division, however indispensable and however 
close to the fighting, were not combat troops in the same sense as the infantry 
and artillery. Even the mechanized reconnaissance troop was not intended 
primarily to fight. General McNair, following a doctrine that had been more 
generally preached than observed, wished to keep the proportion of these 
auxiliary elements to combat elements as low as possible. 

This was done in two ways. First, line troops served themselves. Infantry- 
men of the infantry regiment and artillerymen of the field artillery battalions 
performed simple tasks common to all branches. Medical service was an exception 
in that, although all infantrymen and artillerymen were trained in first aid, each 
infantry regiment and artillery battalion had, as "attached medical" in its Table 
of Organization, a number of medical officers and enlisted men trained by and 
belonging to the Medical Department. Units had no attached personnel of 
other branches, though some (for example, the Signal Corps) had attempted in 
the past to have their personnel included/ Infantrymen and artillerymen oper- 
ated their own telephones and radios without signal corps specialists, ran their 
own trucks and supply systems without quartermasters, engaged in rudimentary 
construction and mine removal without recourse to the engineers, and provided 
first-echelon maintenance (by the individual user) and second-echelon main- 
tenance (by a mechanic in the using unit) for their weapons and vehicles without 
recourse to technicians of the Ordnance Department. The infantry regiment 
was virtually a small division. It served itself; it had a reconnaissance platoon; 
it had proportionately far more antiaircraft and antitank weapons than the 
division; and after the inclusion of howitzers it had its own artillery. 

The other method of holding down the auxiliary elements of the division 



was extensive pooling of auxiliary units in corps and army. (See Table No. 2.) 



So pooled, they were available in the varying quantities needed from time to time 

' '^Attached Signal" troops were provided, for example, in the proposals of 1936; see staff study cited 



footnote 3, p. 293. 



3o8 



ORGANIZATION OF GROUND COMBAT TROOPS 



by this or that division. In addition, for routine supply of food, gasoline, and 
ammunition, General McNair wished the regiments and battalions of divisions 
to deal directly with nondivisional service units under army control. "It is in- 
tended," read an AGF directive after the system came into effect, "that supplies 
move with as much freedom as possible through as few chaimels as necessary. 
Division and corps are not in the channel of supply except in emergencies" ^ 
The using units — ^regiments and battalions — hauled supplies in their own trucks 
from army supply points expected to be from twenty to thirty miles in the rear. 
It was the business of army headquarters to push supply points within reach of 
front-line units, employing army trucks when necessary to go beyond the rail- 
head or head of navigation. Army was also expected to provide laborers at supply 
points to sort supplies into unit lots and load them into unit vehicles. The using 
units brought no personnel except drivers to the supply points, thus avoiding 
waste of vehicle space by transportation of laborers. The part played by the divi- 
sion quartermaster, ordnance officer, engineer, and other service elements was 
simply to consolidate and forward unit requisitions for items supplied by his 
branch, determine the shares of division units when stocks were limited, and 
provide liaison with army headquarters when necessary. The new supply pro- 
cedure, which the Ground Engineer called a "revolution," was embodied in a 
revision of FM loo-io, the new passages being largely written by General McNair 
himself.® 

Between concentration of functions in line personnel on the one hand, and 
in army personnel on the other, many functions of auxiliary units within the 
division were squeezed out. 

Reconnaissance, for example, was conducted at all levels: by patrols of the 
forward infantry elements; by the intelligence and reconnaissance platoon of 
the infantry regiment; and by mechanized cavalry squadrons in the corps. It 
seemed to General McNair that there were too many echelons of reconnais- 
sance.^** In 1938 he had not recommended any reconnaissance unit for the division 
at all. A mechanized cavalry troop had nevertheless been added, which from 

■ AGF hr (R) to CGs, 8 Oct 43, sub: Engr Serv in the Fid. 321/212 (Engr) (R). 

• (i) AGF M/S (R), Engr to G^4, CofS, 4 Sep 43. 321/212 (Engr) (R). (2) AGF M/S, CG to G-4, 
20 Feb 43, sub: Changes in FM loo-io. 461/12 (FM 100-10). (3) Memo of G-4 AGF for CG AGF, sub: 
Rpt on Progress of FM loo-io. 461/12 (FM loo-io). (4) AGF memo for G-3 WD, 10 Mar 43, sub: T/O 
10-17. 3^1/1243 (QM), 

"Memo (C) of Gen McNair for CofS USA, 8 Oct 42, sub: Excessive No. of Mtr Vehicles. 451/66 (C). 



REORGANIZATION FOR COMBAT 309 

1941 to 1942 grew in strength from 147 to 201. General McNair now proposed a 
troop of 153 " 

Service units in the division occupied the narrov^^ing gap betv^^een line units 
and army troops. Each, in addition to its operating functions, carried a small 
reserve of supplies and spare parts peculiar to its branch and provided third- 
echelon maintenance for equipment for vv^hich its branch vv^as responsible. 

The medical battalion included somev^^hat less than half the medical per- 
sonnel of the division, the larger half being "attached medical" vv^ith the in- 
fantry, artillery, and combat engineers. All told, medical personnel numbered 
about 1,000, more than any other arm or service in the division except infantry 
and artillery. The division medical battalion backed up the unit detachments. 
The latter brought in casualties to battalion or regimental aid stations, assisted 
when necessary by collecting companies of the medical battalion. These com- 
panies evacuated the wounded from aid stations to clearing stations, from which 
those needing further treatment were transferred to evacuation hospitals oper- 
ated by army. Division medical officers worked during combat at the clearing 
stations or reinforced medical officers attached to units farther forward. Little 
reduction was made in the revised table for the battalion, and there was no 
reduction in doctors. The veterinary officer was dropped; when the office of 
The Surgeon General protested, the Army Ground Forces explained that the 
division had no animals and that meat inspection was a function suitably 
relegated to army. The AGF tables likewise combined the positions of division 
surgeon and of commanding officer of the medical battalion, on the theory that 
the surgeon should not remain at division headquarters but should operate 
with his hospitals in the field.^^ 

The combat engineer battalion of the division, between 1941 and 1942, 
had grown in strength from 634 to 745. The AGF tables brought it back to 647. 
Functions of the battalion, such as road repair, bridge building, demolition, and 
construction, were unchanged. A reconnaissance section was added to the bat- 
talion headquarters and service company to enable the engineer to form his own 
estimates of the need for bridging and road repair. Removal of certain bridging 
equipment from the organic impedimenta of the battalion, on the principle 
that it could be readily drawn from army when needed, was the principal means 
used to reduce the battalion. Identical battalions, kept in pools under higher 

" T/O 2-27 and AGF memo for G-3 WD, 4 Feb 43, sub: T/O&E Reconnaissance Troop. 321/157 (Cav). 
"T/O 8-15 and AGF memo for G-3 WD, 16 Feb 43, sub: T/OficE, Med Bn. 321/725 (Med), with 
accompanying papers. 



310 



ORGANIZATION OF GROUND COMBAT TROOPS 



headquarters, together with other engineer units such as light ponton companies 
and heavy ponton battalions, were available for support of the division when 
needed/^ 

The division signal company was reduced almost one-third. From a strength 
of 232 in 1940 it had swollen to 322 in 1942, although both infantry and artillery 
had radio operators, linemen, communications sergeants, and similar categories. 
The main function of the signal company was to construct and operate the 
central communications system of the division, coordinating and joining the 
main elements of the division with each other and with division headquarters. 
In part the signal company was cut by straight application of the Ground Rules; 
forty-five truck drivers were eliminated and their duties were assigned to various 
others. To some extent this company was cut by abolition of the radio intelligence 
platoon, whose functions were judged by the Army Ground Forces to be more 
appropriate for corps. A radio intelligence platoon was accordingly included 
in the corps signal battalion. The division signal company was brought back to 
a strength of 226, approximately that of 1940." 

The ordnance light maintenance company, made organic in the division 
after transfer of motor maintenance from the Quartermaster Corps to the 
Ordnance Department, was an especially good illustration of the economies 
made possible by pushing functions forward to line units or rearward to army 
shops. Battlefield recovery of disabled equipment and elementary repairs and 
maintenance were responsibilities of using units. Rather than lose control by 
turning over equipment to another agency for repairs, a procedure especially 
hazardous in combat, units were also expected to carry third-echelon main- 
tenance to the limit of their tools and skill. No ordnance company, General 
McNair noted for his staff," 

can even make a dent in the trucks of a division, but must confine their activities to those 
which cannot be performed in units for lack of tools or special knowledge. There is no 
question in my mind that much of the so<alled third echelon work in campaign must be 
performed by units in some degree. . . . No practicable ordnance company can be set up 
which will take care of motor repairs. The great mass of them must be either handled in 
the units or passed on to army establishments. However, it is sensible to cut out [i. e. hold, 
as in cutting a car out of a railroad train] at the division echelon those repairs which require 
not too much time but only special tools or knowledge. 

"T/0 5-15 and AGF memo for G-3 WD, 21 Feb 43, sub: T/O&E Engr Combat Bn, In£ Div. 
321/712 (Engr). 

^*T/0 1 1-7 and AGF memo for G-3 WD, 3 Mar 43, sub: T/O&E 11-7 S'lg Co, Inf Div. 321/756 
(Sig). 

" AGFM/S, CG to Rqts, 15 Dec 42. 321/714 (Ord). 



REORGANIZATION FOR COMBAT 



311 



The division ordnance company, as provided in the AGF tables, v/zs therefore 
intended to provide only 60 percent of the third-echelon maintenance required 
in the division under quiet conditions, and only 30 percent of such main- 
tenance required during combat." The company was held to a strength of 147. 

The division quartermaster company retained very limited responsibilities. 
Motor maintenance had been transferred to ordnance. Supply of food and 
gasoline w^as decentralized to regiments and separate battalions. With truck- 
ing done by using units, the trucks of the quartermaster company constituted 
chiefly a reserve. Their functions w^ere to assure w^ater supply, to carry reserve 
supplies, including one reserve ration for the entire division, and to be capable 
of transporting tactically one battalion of infantry. Except for five trucks to 
which no load was assigned, kept as spare vehicles for immediate replacement 
of vehicle casualties, all trucks had organic loads, which they dumped when 
called upon to carry troops or provide reserve transportation to units. Labor- 
ers were eliminated, since sorting and loading at supply points were done by 
army, and unloading at receiving points by receiving units. The quartermaster 
company, in the March tables, was cut to 152 officers and men.^^ 

By attachment of six quartermaster truck companies, kept in an army 
pool, the division proposed by the Army Ground Forces could be motorized 
completely. Six companies were sufficient because only the infantry required 
supplementary transportation, all other elements of the infantry division being 
organically motorized." 

The military police unit consisted of one platoon. The AGF tables of 
March 1943 cut it from eighty to seventy-three men. Its functions were to 
guide traffic, maintain straggler lines, and escort prisoners. In these functions 
it was supported by MP units of corps and army and could be supplemented 
by detail of individuals from other units of the division. To prevent detail of 
soldiers for this purpose was, however, one of the main reasons for having 
military police organic in the division.^^ 

The remaining element of division overhead was the headquarters and 
headquarters company. Since June 1941 these had greatly expanded. Division 

"AGF M/S, Red Bd to CG, 19 Dec 42. 321/714 (Ord). See also AGF memo for G-j WD, 2 Feb 43, 
sub: T/06cE 9-8, Ord Co* Lt Maint. 321/714 (Ord). 

" (i) AGF M/S, CG to Rqts, 2 Dec 42. 321/270 (MP). (2) AGF memo for G-3 WD, 13 Feb 43, sub: 
T/O&E 10-17, QM Co, Inf or Mtz Div. 321/1243 (QM), with accompanying papers. 

" Se d PP. ^^7-^ 8 1 below on the motorized division. 

"AGF memo for G-3 WD, 16 Feb 43, sub: T/O&E 19-7, MP Plat, Inf Div. 321/270 (MP). 



312 



ORGANIZATION OF GROUND COMBAT TROOPS 



headquarters, on i June 1941, consisted of 26 officers, 2 warrant of&cers, and 74 
enlisted men, totaling 102; on i August 1942, of 44 officers, 9 warrant officers, 
and 116 enlisted men, totaling 169. The headquarters company consisted on i 
June 1941 of 4 officers and 59 enlisted men; on i August 1942, of 7 officers, 3 
warrant officers, and 134 enlisted men. The division headquarters establishment 
almost doubled in fourteen months. The general staff had grown from seven 
officers to twelve; the simple headquarters company of 1941 had more than 
doubled through addition of a transportation platoon and a defense platoon. 
The total increment, on a lOO-division basis, took as much manpower as an 
entire division. 

General McNair believed that the commander should work through per- 
sonal contact and verbal orders, especially at the division level. Overgrown staffs, 
in his opinion, were the principal cause of long written orders and unnecessary 
paper work, through which the division lost mobility and responsiveness to 
command in fast-changing conditions of battle. 

The AGF tables of March 1943 cut the headquarters company 50 percent, 
bringing it almost back to the strength of June 1941, through removal of vehicles 
and drivers, economy in orderlies, and abolition of the defense platoon.^ The 
56-man band was assigned, as an additional duty, the local protection of division 
headquarters. General McNair rejected proposals to increase postal personnel 
to the level authorized by the War Department (i per 1,000 troops), despite 
recommendations of his own staff. The Adjutant General, and the theaters, and 
despite information from the Desert Training Center that division postal clerks 
were obliged to work day aiid night.^^ 

Division headquarters, cut about 25 percent in both officers and enlisted 
assistants, remained well above the level of 194 1, Commanding officers of the 
medical battalion and the ordnance company were required to act as special 
staff officers for their branches, a practice already established in the artillery, 
engineer, signal, and quartermaster elements of the division. Chaplains and 
special service officers at division headquarters were each cut from three to two. 
By General McNair's express order, the assistant G-4, automotive, added in 1942, 
was eliminated. General McNair felt that the ordnance officer could do most of 
the staff work connected with maintenance, an activity which, as he never tired 
of pointing out, profited more from elbow grease than from forms and reports. 

""On Div Hq & Hq Co see (i) various AGF M/Ss, Jan 43. 320.3/166 (Inf) and (2) AGF memo for 
G-3 WD, 9 Mar 43. sub: T/O&E, Isd Div. 321/688 (Inf). 

"AGF 3d ind (C) to TAG, 7 Apr 43, with attached papers. 320.3/ 17 (C). 



REORGANIZATION FOR COMBAT 



To summarize, the reduced division proposed by the Army Ground Forces 
met the terms of the War Department directive very closely. Personnel was cut 
more than 13 percent, vehicles more than 23 percent. In addition, size of vehicles 
was reduced and number of trailers increased. Counting the ship-ton as 40 
cubic feet, about 6,000 ship-tons (15 percent) were saved in tonnage needed 
for transport of equipment. Only a few platoons were wholly obliterated, 
though the infantry cannon company and the artillery service battery had been 
telescoped into other organizations. As the following table indicates, personnel 
cuts were echeloned toward the rear: 

Percentage of Personnel Reduction in the Infantry Division: 
AGF Proposals of March 194^ 



Units 




Percentage Reduced 


Infantry: 






Rifle Squad 




0.0 


Rifle Company 




3.0 


Infantry Battalion 




7.2 


Infantry Regiment 




11.0 


Field Artillery 


(105-mmO 


Cl55-mmO 


Howitzer Section 


10.0 


15.4 


Howitzer Battery 


17,7 


19.7 


Field Artillery Battalion 


21.2 


25.4 


Division Artillery 




22.2 


Auxiliary Units 






Reconnaissance Troop 




23.9 


Engineer Battalion 




13.7 


Medical Battalion 




7.1 


Signal Company 




29.8 


Quartermaster Company 




26.2 


Ordnance Company 




5.2 


MP Platoon 




8.8 


Headquarters Company (without Band) 


52.1 


Division Headquarters 




21.3 


Entire Division 




13.5 



Fire power was not lessened. The main loss hi armament was the removal of 
324 automatic rifles. Whereas formerly all units of the infantry regiment had 
possessed a few of these weapons, they were now confined exclusively to the 
rifle squad, the 243 automatic rifles remaining in the division being distributed, 
one each, to the 243 rifle squads. Provision of antitank guns and antitank mines 



314 



ORGANIZATION OF GROUND COMBAT TROOPS 



was likewise cut. But more than 500 antitank rocket launchers were added, 
and the allotment of .50-caliber machine guns was substantially increased. 
Self-propelled infantry howitzers gave way to towed howitzers, in slightly 
reduced numbers, but the 75-mm. howitzers were replaced with 105's. In sum, 
increased fire power offset the reductions in weapons. With fire power the 
same, and with manpower cut over 13 percent, the ratio of fire power to man- 
power increased. Hence with a given outlay of men, food, maintenance, trans- 
portation, and administrative effort more combat power could be delivered. 

Reaction to the AGF Tables 

All tables prepared by the Army Ground Forces for component units of 
the infantry division were immediately approved by the War Department and 
published in April under date of i March 1943. When the consolidated table 
for the entire division was submitted it met a different fate. G-3, War Depart- 
ment General Staffs recommended approval, all component elements having 
already been approved.^' The Chief of Staff directed that the consolidated table 
first be submitted to the overseas theaters for comment. General McNair wrote 
privately: 

The Chief is reserving final decision until Edwards [G-3, War Department] and 
I get back from Africa, where we hope to go this week, I am not clear as to the purpose of 
this step, but we shall do our darnedest to check up on various features o£ the organization 
by consultation with those who have been through the mill. However, I have little hope 
of convincing any division commander that he can spare 450 trucks or 2,000 men. 

Wounded a few days after his arrival in North Africa, General McNair 
missed the opportunity for a full discussion of the proposed division with officers 
in the theater. It is doubtful whether representatives of the War Department 
put the matter in quite the light in which he saw it. The positive side of economy, 
the possibility of increasing the number of divisions through reduction in size^ 
was the easier to overlook since up to this time only four United States divisions 
had been employed in North Africa, with some sixty in training at home. 

""(i) WD memo (S) WDGCT 320.2 Gen (&-4-43) for CofS USA, 8 Jun 43 sub: Revised Inf Div. 
AGO Records, 320.3 (8 Jun 43) (i) (S). (2) M/R on cpy of WD memo WDGCT 320.2 T/O (i8 Jun 43), 
18 Jun 43, sub: Revision of T/OacE*s for Inf Div. AGO Records, 320.3. 

^ personal Itr of Gen McNair to Gen F. L. Parks, 12 Apr 43. McNair Correspondence. 



REORGANIZATION FOR COMBAT 



That the saving in personnel should be utiUzed for new divisions v^^as not, indeed, 
the poHcy of the War Department at this time. In June 1943, when final decisions 
on the reduced division were made, the number of divisions in the mobilization 
program for 1943 was not raised but lowered.^* 

The North African Theater of Operations disapproved of the new division 
in entirety.^" General Eisenhower reported unanimous rejection by his corps 
and division commanders. The division was said to be already at an absolute 
minimum, providing no relief for worn out personnel — a somewhat irrelevant 
argument since the reductions mainly affected personnel least subject to the 
wear of battle. The theater reported the defense platoon at division headquarters 
to be essential in combat; asked for more military police, not fewer; warned 
that reduction of the engineer, signal, and other auxiliary units would seriously 
impair their operations; deplored the telescoping of cannon companies and 
service batteries; and in general pronounced reduction anywhere to be. unfeas- 
ible. Organic assignment of antiaircraft and tank destroyer battalions to the 
irifantry division was also desired. 

General McNair wrote at length to the War Department when asked to com- 
ment on the view taken by the theater. He noted that the reductions had been 
ordered by the War Department itself, and continued : ^® 

I know of no instance where a commander has recommended a reduction of the means 
at his disposal — either personnel or material — and of but few cases where a commander 
was satisfied with what he had. Invariably commanders seek more and tend always to make 
their unit self-contained. It was such proclivities that brought about the present wasteful 
and unwieldy organization. Commanders do not consider the large picture. For example, 
the Commanding General, ist Division, told me during my recent visit overseas that he 
needed organically a military police battalion, a reconnaissance squadron, a tank destroyer 
battalion, and an antiaircraft battalion. I asked him whether he would be willing to give 
up four infantry battalions in exchange, to which he replied No, vehemendy. Nevertheless, 
such an addition to his division would deplete or eliminate other divisions, since the bottom 
of the manpower barrel is in sight. 

The big question in the case of the mass of streamlined units before the War Department 
for decision is not what it would be nice to have in the way of a complete and perfect organi- 
zation, but what is the very minimum organization which can fight effectively. It would 



See|"Ground Forces in the Army, December 1941-April 1945: a Statistical Study'l and "Mobilization 



of the Ground Army%" in this volume. 

"=(0 Radio (S) CM-In-550, Algiers [Eisenhower] to WD, i Jun 43. (2) Radio (S) CM-In-9356, 
London USFOR [Devers] to WD, 14 May 43. WD Classified Message Center, 

^Memo (S) of Gen McNair for G-3 WD, 3 Jun 43, sub: Reduced Inf Div. 312/2 (Divs) (S). 



316 



ORGANIZATION OF GROUND COMBAT TROOPS 



be comfonablc to have 12 men in an organic gun squad, but the gun can be served readily 
by 8 men and 12 men certainly w^ill not be 50% more cfiective than 8 men. 

Our theaters now are developed suflSciently to make it quite apparent that there is gross 
extravagance in both human and material resources cveryw^herc. Theater commanders 
naturally seek to make themselves as secure against eventualities as they possibly can. They 
expect the War Department to find the resources which they demand, and thus far the 
War Department has met their expectations obligingly. However, sooner or later, the War 
Department will be forced, by inadequate total resources, to decide the form and substance 
of theater allotments, and direct theater commanders to carry on with what is given them, not 
what they would like to have. There is no doubt in my mind that the total resources now 
in the Nonh African theater could be changed in form with an enormous gain in fighting 
power. 

My study of operations in the North African theater particularly, by both observation 
on the ground and from reports and dispatches, convinces me thoroughly that the combat 
forces there are too much concerned with their own security and too little concerned with 
striking the enemy. The infantry is displaying a marked reluctance to advance against fire, 
but they are masters of the slit trench — a device which is used habitually both in defense 
and attack. Regimental and higher commanders are not seen suflSciently in the forward 
areas, and battalions show the lack of this first-hand supervision. Commanders are in their 
command posts, I found that infantry battalions in the assault have their command posts 
organized in forward and rear echelons, the latter the stronger. Commanders of all echelons 
cry for both antiaircraft and ground defense. One high commander seized the reconnaissance 
company of a tank destroyer battalion for his personal guard, thereby rendering the destroyer 
battalion virtually ineffective. This attitude is everywhere and is undermining the offensive 
spirit by which alone we can win battles. I maintain that our organization must be an offen- 
sive one, not cringingly defensive. We cannot provide thousands of purely defensive weapons 
with personnel to man them without detracting from our offensive power. Nothing can be 
more unsound than to provide a headquarters guard organically for a high command post. 
If the commander feels so much concern for his own safety^ let him withdraw a battalion 
from the front line for his own protection, but do not provide him with such a unit 
organically. 

It is to be emphasized that the proposed organization, in this and other similar cases, 
does not weaken the fighting power of the unit, but merely strips away unessential overhead 
and weapons which are not usable against the enemy in offensive action. When field com- 
mentators see that the unit has been reduced in strength, they charge immediately that 
the revised unit is weak and lacks staying power. The facts are the reverse, since the unit 
has more fighting power per man than the extravagant unit which it supersedes. There will 
be more of the reduced unit for a given manpower, hence greater total fighting and staying 
power. 

The reduced organizations are based on the sound fundamental that the division or 
other unit should be provided organically with only those means which it needs practically 
always. Peak loads, and unusual and infrequent demands obviously should be met from a 



REORGANIZATION FOR COMBAT 3^7 

pool — ordinarily in the army or separate corps. Such a principle is particularly applicable, 
for example, to engineer and medical units. In both such cases demands vary widely with 
the situation, and it is uneconomical in the extreme to provide the division organically 
with the means of meeting extreme demands which occur seldom. 

General Eisenhower *s comments in this case can be replied to in detail, but such dis- 
cussion seems hardly appropriate. It is clear that his viewpoint is so wholly different from 
that upon which the reduced division is based, that it is small wonder that the reduced 
organization is unacceptable to him. The issue does not lie in these details but rather is, 
whether we are to base our military organization on comfort and convenience or on offensive 
fighting power. 

At this very time, in June 1943, the manpower situation was so critical that 
500,000 men were dropped from the proposed strength of the Army and twelve 
divisions were canceled from the mobilization program for 1943." 

A middle ground between General McNair and General Eisenhower was 
found by G-3 of the War Department.'^® Although the compromise, by adding 
over 800 men to General McNair's figures for the division, made the mobiUzation 
of any given number of divisions more difficult, it produced an individual divi* 
sion of considerable soimdness and strength, used without substantial change 
in the European campaigns of 1944 and 1945. In general, the auxiliary units of 
the division were held down to General McNair's figures. One exception was the 
division headquarters company, to which the defense platoon was restored (as 
a guard against stray tanks, parachutists, and disaffected civilian inhabitants). 
Another exception was the quartermaster company, to which the service platoon 
was restored on the ground that the division quartermaster had no other pool of 
labor. In general, the combat elements of the division were modified in the direc- 
tion desired by General Eisenhower, The cannon company was restored to the 
infantry regiment, and the service battery to the field artillery battalion. In view 
of developments in North Africa, the 37-mm. antitank gun was definitely aban- 
doned in favor of the 57-mm,, the mine-laying platoon was restored to the regi- 
mental antitank companies, and infantry regiments received increased allow- 
ances of mine detectors. Other questions of armament remained as decided by 
General McNair. Infantry regiments kept their 2j^-ton trucks. About 400 vehi- 
cles were restored to the division. A medical detachment was added for the 

" See the two preceding studies in this volume, 
(i) WD memo (S) WDGCT 320.2 Gen (6-4-43) for Cof S USA, 8 Jun 43, sub: Revised In£ Div. 
AGO Record* 320.3 (8 Jun 43) (1) (S). (2) WD memo (S) WDGCT 320.2 T/O (18 Jun 43) to CO AGF, 
18 Jun 43, sub: Revision of TO&tE's for the In£ Div 321/63 (In£) (S). (3) AGF memo for G-3 WD, 9 Jul 
43, sub as above. 320.3/661. (4) AGF memo (S) for G-3 WD, i Jun 43, sub: Recommended Changes in 
T/O's. 322/3 (Divs) (S). 



3i8 



ORGANIZATION OF GROUND COMBAT TROOPS 



"special troops,'* or smaller auxiliaries, of the division. A division surgeon was 
provided in addition to the commanding officer of the medical battalion. This 
compromised the principle, stressed by General McNair, of reducing special 
staffs through combination of staff and command positions. To these amend- 
ments made by G-35 the office of the Chief of Staff added another, directing 
that a headquarters, special troops, be included for administration of the signal, 
ordnance, and quartermaster companies and the military police platoon. This 
headquarters, revived from the old square division, was regarded by General 
McNair as a wholly unnecessary piece of overhead.^^ 

But for the most part the cuts made by General McNair in headquarters 
establishments, especially at the regimental and battalion levels, were maintained. 
Restorations made by the War Department were chiefly in combat elements, 
largely defensive, and in service elements operating in the closest conjunction 
with combat troops. In addition, the Army Ground Forces, acting on reports 
from the theaters and without instructions from the War Department, restored 
the medical detachment of the infantry regiment to its old figure. The disputed 
postal clerks were likewise added. 

The division which emerged consisted of 14,253 officers and men, about 850 
more than desired by General McNair, but about 1,250 fewer than currently 
authorized. The Army Ground Forces prepared new Tables of Organization 
as directed. These were published as of 15 July 1943. Infantry divisions in the 
United States were physically reorganized as of i September 1943, those over- 
seas by installments in the following months. Since in the long run only 66 
infantry divisions were mobilized, it may be said that the T/O's of 15 July 1943, 
saving about 1,250 in each, saved altogether 82,500 men. Conversely, the number 
of men formerly required for 60 divisions now produced 66. 

The reorganization of the infantry division effected important economies. 
But to General McNair the failure of the War Department to accept his views, 
or to stand firmly by its own announced policies of economy, was a source of 
grave disappointment and concern. He saw in it an indication that the War 
Department would yield to the theaters to a degree which he believed destructive 
to central control. "Since the War Department's decisions in connection with 
the infantry division," he wrote on 23 June 1943, when reviewing the T/O 
for army headquarters, "I have much less sting in me than heretofore." ^ 

** (i) AGF memo (S) forG-3 WD, i Jun 43, sub: Recommended Changes in T/0*s, 322/3 (Divs)-(S). 
(2) AGF memo for G-3 WD, 27 Nov 43, sub: Revision of FM 101-5. 322,01/5. 

AGF M/S, CG to Rqts, 23 Jun 43, sub: Rcduc of Offs, Ord Sec, Army Hq. 320.2/191 (AGF), 



V. The Armored Division 



The armored division, unlike the infantry division, underv^^ent not merely 
a shrinking but a t horoughgoing reorganization at the hands of the Army 
Ground Forces. (See 
independent status o 



Table No, 3.) The process was complicated by the semi- 
: the Chiet of the Armored Force, who was responsible 
for Tables of Organization for armored units. The Armored Force, established 
in July 1940 to do a rush job of creating armored divisions, retained a great 
deal of prestige and vitality after it came under the headquarters of the Army 
Ground Forces in March 1942, For over a year relations between AGF head- 
quarters and Armored Force headquarters were in practice more on the level 
of negotiation than of military command. It was not that the two headquarters 
were at odds. There was considerable difference of view among General McNair's 
staff officers on the use of armor, and he did not insist that they present a united 
front during discussions with Fort Knox.^ Armored Force officers also repre- 
sented various shades of opinion on the tactics, and hence the organization, of 
tanks. But the differences of opinion tended to polarize in the respective points 
of view of the two headquarters. 

Of one thing General McNair was convinced from the start: that the 
Armored Force, accustomed by the circumstances of its birth to doing big things 
in a hurry, was the most wasteful of the ground arms in its use of manpower and 
equipment. "Profligate," "luxurious," and "monstrous" were terms he fre- 
quently applied to armored units in 1942 and 1943.^ "The present armored divi- 
sion," he wrote, "is fairly bogged down by a multiplicity of gadgets of all 
kinds. ... In the matter of size, cost and complication, as compared with the 
number of tanks which can be used against the enemy, the armored division 



^AGFM/S (S),CGtoRedBd, lo Mar 43. 320.2/24 (Armd F) (S). 

'For example, (i) AGF memo (C) for G-3 WD, 5 Nov 42, sub: AA Defense. 320.2/12 (AA) (C). 
(2) Personal Itr of Gen McNair to Col J. A. Consadine, 4 Jun 42. McNair Correspondence. 



320 



ORGANIZATION OF GROUND COMBAT TROOPS 



TABLE NO. 3 

Organic Composition of the Armored Division, /p^-^^j 



{Aggregate Strengths, Principal Equipment) 



UNIT 



Entire Division 

Division Headquarters 

Hq. & Hq. Co., Combat Command "A" 

Hq. & Hq. Co., Combat Command "B" 

Hq., Reserve Command 

Armored Component 

2 Armored Regiments, each 

Hq. & Hq. Company 

Reconnaissance Company 

Service Company 

Maintenance Company 

Tank Battalion (Medium) (two) 

Hq. & Hq. Company 

Tank Company (Medium) (three) . . . 

Tank Battalion (Light) 

Hq. & Hq. Company 

Tank Company (Light) (three) 

3 Tank Battalions, each , 

Hq. & Hq. Company 

Service Company 

Tank Company (Medium) (three) 

Tank Company (Light) 

Infantry Component 

Armored Infantry Regiment 

Hq. & Hq. Company 

Service Company. 

Armored Infantry Bn. (three) 

Hq. & Hq. Company 

Service Company 

Rifle Company (three) 

Artillery Component 

Hq. Division Artillery 

Armored Field Artillery Battalion (three) 

Hq. & Hq. Battery 

Service Battery 

Firing Battery (three) 



1 Mar 42 



14,620 

185 
61 
61 



4*848 
2,424 
172 
202 
191 
188 
599 
152 
149 
473 
143 
110 



2,389 
2,389 
138 
151 
700 
166 

178 

2,127 

709 
173 
152 
128 



15 Sep 43 



10,937 

164 
93 
91 
8 

2,187 



729 
147 
119 
122 
97 

3,003 



1,001 
173 
75 
251 

1,623 
21 
534 
111 
93 
110 



24 Jan 45 



10,670 

174 
90 
88 
8 

2,100 



700 
140 
115 
117 
94 

2,985 



995 
169 
73 
251 

1,625 
95 
510 
106 
89 
105 



REORGANIZATION FOR COMBAT 



321 



TABLE NO. I— Continued 



UNIT 



Auxiliary Units • 

Division Hq. Company 

Division Service Company 

Band 

Signal Company 

Reconnaissance Battalion 

Engineer Battalion 

Division Trains 

Hq. & Hq. Company 

Maintenance Battalion 

Supply Battalion 

Medical Battalion 

Military Police Platoon • 

Attached Medical 

Attached Chaplain 

Principal Equipment: 

Medium Tanks • . 

Light Tanks 

105-mm. Howitzers, self-propelled 

Cal. 30 Machine Guns 

Cal. 50 Machine Guns 

Cal. 45 Submachine Guns 

Carbines 

Cal. 30 Rifles 

Antitank Rocket Launchers • . 

Carriers, Half-track 

Vehicles, All Types (except boats and 
aircraft) 



1 Mar 42 



4.521 
111 
160 

256 
872 
1,174 
1,948 
159 
873 
414 
502 

414 
14 



15 Sep 43 



24 Jan 45 



3,499 
138 

58 
302 
935 
693 
1,373 
103 
762 

417 
91 
261 

8 



232 
158 
54 
291 
103 
2,160 
6,042 
1,628 

733 

3,630 



186 
77 
54 
465 
404 
2,803 
5,286 
2,063 
607 
501 

2,653 



Source: T/O 17 and allied 



tables, as of above dates. 



322 



ORGANIZATION OF GROUND COMBAT TROOPS 



presents an amazing picture of unjustified extravagance." ^ The AGF Reduction 
Board went to work on the armored division in January 1943. Certain of the 
division tables were pronounced by General McNair "so fat there is no place 
to begin"; others were to be "combined and debunked — a major operation"; 
and he instructed the Board, "before I personally struggle further with these 
terrible tables," to recast armored division elements along the lines of comparable 
elements in the reduced infantry division/ 

Meanwhile the question of reorganization had arisen, overshadowing the 
question of mere reduction. Concurrently with the removal of "fat," the anatomy 
of the division was transformed. Economy was a major objective, but changes 
were also dictated by modifications in tactical doctrine. 

Conceptions of the armored division passed through several stages during 
the war, largely as a result of the activity of the Germans, whose successes made 
it possible for various schools of American officers to get their ideas adopted. 
The American armored divisions were at first modeled on the German Panzer 
division of 1940 and were made up overwhelmingly of tanks with relatively 
little infantry support* Virtually all tanks in the Army were placed in armored 
divisions. One school thought that these heavy armored divisions would operate 
well ahead of the mass of friendly forces. Divisions of foot infantry were left a 
modest role. "The triangular division," wrote the Chief of the Armored Force, 
on 18 July 1942, "has its place in the scheme of affairs to protect lines of com- 
munication, to hold ground, to assist the armored units in supply and the cross- 
ing of obstacles such as rivers, defiles, etc. They do not carry the spearhead of 
the figfit and never will when tanks and guns are present," ^ The belief that 
armored divisions were a kind of elite troops, capable of peculiarly decisive 
action, was the basis for furnishing them so liberally with personnel and 
equipment. 

But the succesful employment of antitank guns and mines, notably by the 
Germans in the African campaigns from 194 1 to 1943, but also by the Russians 
and British, confirmed the position of those American officers, including Gen- 
eral McNair, who had always doubted the invulnerability of the tank. It became 
clear that tanks would frequently have to be escorted by foot troops sent ahead 
to locate and destroy antitank defenses. It was recognized that the armored 

' Memo (S) of Gen McNair (dictated by Gen McNair, signed by Gen J. G. Christiansen) for DCofS 
USA, 20 Jul 43, sub: Comments on Maj Gen Harmon's Rpt. 319.1/13 (NATO) (S). 
* AGF M/S, CG to Red Bd, 23 Feb 43- AGF Orgn Div, Rqts Sec (25893), 
' Personal Itr of Gen Devers to Gen McNair, 18 Jul 42. McNair Correspondence. 



REORGANIZATION FOR COMBAT 



division, internally, required more infantry in proportion to tanks and, ex- 
ternally, would usually operate in closer proximity to infantry divisions than 
had been supposed. The increasing rapprochement betw^een tanks and infantry 
raised not only the question of the internal structure of the armored division 
but also that of the number of armored divisions which ought to be mobilized, 
as distinguished from the nondivisional tank battalions by which infantry divi- 
sions could receive tank support. General Devers, two years after making the 
statement quoted in the last paragraph, wrote of the Italian campaign in 1944: 
"Of special importance has been the work of tank battalions attached to infantry 
divisions. . . . Throughout the entire campaign the infantry has been the major 
decisive element in the advance .... It is team play which has assured 
success*" ® 

Armored divisions were being reorganized, under tables prepared by the 
Armored Force and dated i March 1942, at the time when the Armored Force 
became a component of the Army Ground Forces/ The tank-infantry ratio in 
the new tables remained substantially as in 1940. The total strength of the 
division was 14,620, of which 4,848 was in tank units, 2,389 in armored infantry, 
and 2,127 in armored artillery. Tanks were organized in 2 regiments of 3 bat- 
talions each; infantry in a regiment of 3 battalions; artillery in 3 battalions. 
Armored infantry differed from foot infantry, which was not organically motor- 
ized, and from motorized infantry, which was equipped to move in trucks, in 
that all personnel could move simultaneously in lightly armored half-tracks. 
Armored artillery consisted of self-propelled 105-mm. howitzers; it was or- 
ganized in 6-piece batteries, so that 3 battalions had 54 pieces. The engineer 
battalion of the armored division comprised 4 companies plus a treadway bridge 
company. A strength of 1,948 was in division trains, which included a main- 
tenance battalion six times as large as the corresponding company in the infantry 
division, and a supply battalion organically included on the ground that army 
supply establishments would usually lag far behind the fast-moving armored 
division. Division headquarters included 2 "combat commands," each a sub- 
headquarters under a brigadier general, to either of which the division com- 
mander might assign such forces as he chose for specific tactical missions. Task 
forces could thus be made up flexibly within the division, embodying, within 
limits, any desired ratio of tanks to infantry and other arms. 



'Lt Gen J. L. Devers, Deputy Commander of the North African Theater of Operations, "Tactical Notes 
from the Italian Campaig n," Military Review, XXIV (1944), 3. 
'Seel Table No/ 3. 



324 



ORGANIZATION OF GROUND COMBAT TROOPS 



General McNair in 1942, in view of the recent reorganization of the division, 
and considering the unsettled state of armored doctrine, wished to postpone 
another reorganization until combat experience had been gained.® In August 
he called the attention of General Devers to the fact that the German armored 
division, having been substantially reorganized since 1940, now had five times 
as high a ratio of infantry to tank troops as did the United States armored 
division." General Devers, convinced of the need of more infantry, proposed 
that the motorized infantry divisions be "armorized," that is, that their infantry 
be organized and equipped as was the infantry of armored divisions.^" Large 
tank masses in armored divisions would thus operate alongside large infantry 
masses carried in half-tracks. AGF headquarters, however, believed that the 
solution to the problem was not the armorizing of motorized divisions but 
rather the placing of small infantry units in close association with small tank 
units.^^ 

General McNair (as though to show the semi-independent status of the 
Armored Force) laid General Devers' proposals before the War Department 
along with his own on 7 December 1942." He himself, not wishing simply to 
put an armorized infantry division alongside armored divisions in an armored 
corps or simply to add infantry to the existing armored division which he 
believed already unwieldy, and not yet ready to break down the armored division 
and recombine the parts, proposed a temporary expedient pending experience 
to be gained in combat. He recommended that a pool of twenty-five separate 
armored infantry battalions be established from which armored divisions could 
be reinforced as necessary. He likewise recommended curtailment of the pro- 
gram for motorized divisions, believing that armored infantry battalions would 
best fill the need for close support of advancing tanks, and that other forms of 
infantry support, such as the taking over of positions won by armor, could be 

'Sec (i) AGF 2d ind (S) to Armd F, 24 May 42, on AGF Itr to CofArmdF, 2 May 42, sub: Light 
Armd Divs. 320.2/1 (Armd F) (S). (2) Memo of 7 Dec cited in footnote 12 below. 

"Ltr (C) of Gen McNair to CG Armd F, 24 Aug 42, sub: Proportion of Inf in Armd Div. 320.2/18 
(Armd F) (C). 

"Ltr (C) of Gen Devers to CG AGF, 6 Nov 42, sub: Grenadier Brigs of Panzer Divs. 320.2/18 
(ArmdF) (C). 

" Papers, including a study by Col R. F. Ennis (item 4 of AGF M/S, CG to G-2, 12 Nov 42). 320.2/18 
(ArmdF) (C). 

"Memo (R) of Gen McNair for G-3 OPD, 7 Dec 42, sub: Orgn of Armd Units. 320.2/18 (Armd 
F) (C). 



REORGANIZATION FOR COMBAT 



furnished by standard infantry divisions moved vs^hen necessary by trucks from 
an army pool 

The fate of the motorized division is traced below. The War Department 
hesitated to abandon this unit but did authorize the mobilization of fifteen 
battalions of armored infantry. It w^as felt also in the War Department General 
Staff, after further study of foreign armies, that reorganization of the American 
armored division must be immediately considered/^ The commanding general 
of the Army Ground Forces was instructed, on 26 January 1943, to prepare new 
tables at once.^* 

General McNair submitted, on 28 January, one of his most careful statements 
on the use of armor : 

1. The basic memorandum presents clearly and impressively a broad picture of tremen- 
dous significance — one which, in my view, we have not yet faced adequately. 

2. It is believed that our general concept of an armored force — ^that it is an instrument 
of exploitation, not greatly different in principle from horse cavalry of old — is sound. 
However, some, particularly armored enthusiasts, have been led away from this concept 
by current events which have been misinterpreted. The German armored force of 1940 was 
organized for a particular situation, and was brilliantly successful for that reason. It was 
used at the outset as a force of exploitation, since it was well known that nothing in Europe 
at that time was capable of stopping it; the antitank measures then in vogue were wholly 
and hopelessly inadequate. 

3. The struggles in Libya — particularly the battles of late May and early June, 1942 — 
demonstrated conclusively that armor could not assault strong, organized positions except 
with prohibitive losses. The German 88 ruined the British armored force, which was em- 
ployed unsoundly. The German armored force then exploited the success obtained and 
ruined the entire British force. 

4. The battle of El Alamein demonstrated the correct employment of the British 
armor, which was held in reserve until the infantry, artillery, and air had opened a hole. 
The British armor then exploited the success and destroyed the German force. 

5. Thus, we need large armored units to exploit the success of our infantry. We need 
small armored units also, in order to assist the infantry locally. The Russians appear to 
have devoted their armor largely to the latter principle, influenced undoubtedly by the fact 
that until recently they have been on the defensive strategically. It seems doubtful that 
they will need large armored units in the near future. If they do, such units can be formed 
readily. 

"WD memo (S) MID 904 (1-11-43) for CofS USA, ii Jan 43, sub: Trends in Orgn of Armd Fs. 
320.2/20 (Armd F) (S). 

^*This paper has not been located, but is cited in General McNair*s memo, 28 January 1943, and 
elsewhere. 

"Memo (S) of Gen McNair for G-3 WD, 28 Jan 43, sub: Trends in Orgn of Armd Fs. 320.2/20 
(Armd F) (S). 



326 



ORGANIZATION OF GROUND COMBAT TROOPS 



6. It is believed unwise to adopt the hybrid infantry-armored division of the British, 
since a division normally should contain organically only those elements which are needed 
in all situations. Armor is not needed on the defensive under our concept, tank destroyers 
being provided for the defeat of armored attacks, and having demonstrated their effectiveness 
for this purpose. Our GHQ tank battalions are sound for attachment to infantry divisions 
on the offensive where terrain and situation permit their effective employment. 

7. It is believed that our 1943 troop basis has entirely too many armored divisions, 
considering their proper tactical employment, and too few GHQ tank battalions. It is' 
particularly important that the latter be available in quantities to permit all infantry divisions 
to work with them freely and frequently. Such training has been impracticable in the past 
and probably will be so in 1943. This matter was brought up in connection with consideration 
of the 1943 troop basis, but the view presented by this headquarters was not favored by 
the War Department. 

8. A reorganization of the armored division will be proposed in the near future, in 
accordance with your memorandum of January 26, 1943. 

Later, General McNair wrote to the commander of the ist Armored Division in 
Italy: "The big question in my mind is the relative merit of tank battalions 
attached to infantry divisions vs. infantry attached to armored divisions. I lean 
toward employing armored divisions for exploitation and tank battalions at- 
tached to infantry divisions for your present job of infighting," 

The work of preparing new tables for the armored division went on from 
January to August 1943. Numerous conferences were required to harmonize 
the views of the Armored Force, the Army Ground Forces, and the War Depart- 
ment General Staff.^^ During this period the ist Armored Division saw action 
in Africa, the 2d in Sicily, but neither was employed as a unit in the type of 
mission for which armored divisions were intended. Combat experience, there- 
fore, furnished only fragmentary guidance. A board of officers, convened by 
the Fifth Army during the African campaign, under Maj. Gen. Ernest N. 
Harmon, recommended many changes of detail, some of which were incor- 
porated in the new tables, but on the whole favored no fundamental change 
until more armored divisions had engaged in combat/^ New tables were never- 
theless pubhshed as of 15 September 1943. All armored divisions were then 
physically reorganized except the 2d and 3d, which remained under the 1942 
tables with modifications. 

Personal Itr of Gen McNair to Maj Gen E. N. Harmon, 3 Apr 44. McNair Correspondence. 
"Transcript of discussion at conference between AGF and Armored Force officers on 17 March 1943 
is included in file. 320.2/26 (Armd F)(S). 

Maj Gen E. N. Harmon, "Report on Combat Experience and Batde Lessons for Training Purposes," 
to AFHQ, 13 Jun 43.319.1/13 (NATO) (S). 



REORGANIZATION FOR COMBAT 



In redesigning the armored division, in advance of combat experience and 
in view of wide differences of opinion, both the Army Ground Forces and the 
Armored Force desired as elastic and adaptable a structure as possible.^^ The 
same principles of flexibility were applied as were currently being applied to 
nondivisional army and corps troops. The regimental echelon in the armored 
division was abolished. The battalion became the basic unit. The division re- 
ceived organically three battalions of tanks, three of armored infantry, and 
three of armored field artillery. Infantry strength in proportion to tanks was 
thereby doubled. At the same time separate tank battalions, separate armored 
infantry battalions, and separate armored field artillery battalions were set up 
in nondivisional pools. These battalions were made identical with the corre- 
sponding battalions organic in the armored division. Hence they could readily 
be attached to the armored division. 

To make possible ready attachment and detachment all battalions of 
armored types — tank, infantry, and artillery, both those organic in the armored 
division and those which were nondivisional — were made administratively 
self-contained. Each received a service company (or battery) to bring supplies 
from army supply points, and a headquarters company (or battery) large enough 
to carry the burden of administration. All tank battalions became alike and 
hence interchangeable. Previously there had been battalions of medium tanks 
and battalions of light tanks; plans for the heavy tank battalion were suspended 
early in 1943 and in any case did not apply to the armored division. The new 
composite tank battalion was much stronger than the old medium battalion. 
Like the old medium battalion it had three companies of medium tanks; in 
addition it had a company of light tanks for reconnaissance or other missions 
requiring speed, and six medium tanks mounting io5-mm. howitzers. 

"The fundamental objective," General McNair wrote to General Patton, 
"is to provide more infantry than at present. However, the organization is such 
that battalions of either armor or infantry may be added or subtracted from a 
division at will. Although the division organically probably will aggregate some- 

On this and following paragraphs: (i) Personal Itr of Gen Dcvcrs to Gen McNair, i Dec 42. 320.2/422 
(Armd F). {2) Personal Itr of Gen McNair to Gen Patton, 21 Aug 43. McNair Correspondence. (3) Per- 
sonal Itr of Gen McNair to Gen Harmon, 3 Apr 44. McNair Correspondence. (4) Correspondence between 
AGF and Armd F. 320.2/66 (Arnid F) (R). (5) Armd F Itr to AGF, 11 Jun 43, sub: T/O&E's for Armd 
F Units. 320.2/487 (Armd F). (6) AGF memo (R) for G-3 WD, 23 Jun 43, sub: Reorgn of Armd Divs. 
320.2/66 (Armd F) (R). {7) AGF memo for G-3 WD, 1 Sep 43, sub as above. 320.2-66 (Armd F) (R). 
(8) Published T/0 17 and related tables of 15 Sep 43. 



328 



ORGANIZATION OF GROUND COMBAT TROOPS 



thing like 11,000, you may make it 20,000 if you so desire, simply by adding ar- 
mored or infantry battalions." He might have said armored artillery battalions 
also, or, indeed, engineer, ordnance, or other units, since all nondivisional units 
in the Army Ground Forces were being reorganized in the same way. In Gen- 
eral McNair's mind the distinction between the armored division and temporary 
armored formations tended to fade. He envisaged the possibility that armored 
groups might perform the role of armored divisions. Battalions of tanks, armored 
infantry, and armored artillery, taken from nondivisional pools, could, instead 
of being added to armored divisions, be combined with each other under group 
headquarters and with such service units as were needed, and thus in effect 
constitute small temporary armored divisions.^^ 

In practice no such over-all flexibility was obtained. While some twenty 
separate battalions of armored artillery remained in existence, all but one of the 
separate armored infantry battalions were inactivated in 1943 in the face of the 
manpower shortage. Nor were enough separate tank battalions mobilized to 
provide an effective pool. The need of infantry divisions for tanks, in the cam- 
paigns in Italy, western Europe, and elsewhere, proved to be more constant than 
was anticipated in 1942 and 1943. Hence virtually all available tank battalions 
became more or less permanently attached to infantry divisions. Interchange- 
ability broke down. Armored divisions could not be reinforced by tank or 
armored infantry battalions. Nor could armored battalions be combined into 
armored groups. The armored group in the theaters lost its functions,^* 

Flexibility within the armored division was enhanced by the reorganization. 
Elimination of the tank regiments and the infantry regiment, and creation of 
self-contained battalions, made all battalions directly attachable to the combat 
commands or to the "reserve command" set up as a third subheadquarters in 
the reorganized division. General McNair desired that the two combat com- 
mands be redesignated "groups." As headquarters to which battalions could 
be variably attached by the division commander they strongly resembled the 
group headquarters then being widely introduced for flexible control of non- 
divisional units. Adoption of the term "group" would have emphasized the 
tendency for the armored division to lose divisional identity. But "combat 

" Personal Itr oi Gen McNair to Gen Patton, 21 Aug 43. McNair Correspondence. 
" Sec bc!ow, |pp. 333-35i 

" For example, Observers Rpt M— i (Lt Col F. Bacon on Luzon Operations), i Mar 45. AGF G-2 Files. 
** (i) AGF M/S (R), CG to Rqts, 2 Feb 43. AGF Orgn Div, Rqts Sec file. (2) Items in foomote 19 
above. (3) G-3 WD memo (R) tor CG AGF, 22 Jul 43, Sub: Rcorgn of Armd Divs. 320.2/66 (Armd F) (R). 



REORGANIZATION FOR COMBAT 



command," preferred by the Armored Force, was favored by the War Depart- 
ment. It was decided also by the War Department that only one combat com- 
mand should be headed by a brigadier general, the other being allotted a 
colonel — a "curious set-up" according to General McNair, since the functions of 
the two commands were the same.^* 

The Armored Force urged repeatedly that a tank destroyer battalion and an 
antiaircraft artillery battalion be made organic in the armored division. The ar- 
gument for organic inclusion of these elements was stronger for the armored than 
for the infantry division ; it was universally favored among overseas commanders 
and it was also supported by many officers of the AGF headquarters staff. Even 
the Reduction Board, General McNair's selected "No-men," recommended in- 
clusion,^^ General McNair would have none of it, declining to add to "the mon- 
strous array of transportation already encumbering" the armored division/^ He 
insisted that these defensive weapons be pooled and attached as needed. The War 
Department supported him even against a recommendation of the European 
Theater of Operations,^ 

The number of tanks in the armored division was cut from 390 to 263, as 
compared with about 200 usually found at this time in German and British 
armored divisions. Thus, while tank battalions were reduced from 6 to 3, or 50 
percent, and tank-unit personnel from 4,848 to 2,187, 55 percent, the number 
of tanks was reduced only 30 percent. The number of M-4 medium tanks was 
reduced only 25 percent. 

Armored infantry was greatly strengthened. The commanding general of 
the 1st Armored Division reported that the armored infantry regiment, under 
the 1942 tables, had approximately the strength of an infantry battalion as organ- 
ized in the infantry division, "after the overhead including some 544 drivers have 
been removed." He recommended the use of standard infantry in the armored 
division. General McNair, who generally preferred standard to specialized units 



** Personal Itr of Gen McNair to Gen Harmon, 3 Apr 44. McNair Correspondence. 

* AGF M/S (S), Col Eycrly lo Rqts and CG, undated (June 1943). 319.1/13 (NATO) (S). 

" (i) AGF memo (C) for G-3 WD, 5 Nov 42, sub: AA Defense. 320.2/12 (AA) (C). (2) Memo (S) of 
Gen McNair for DCofS USA, 20 Jul 43, sub: Comments on Maj Gen Harmon*s Rpt. 319.1/13 (NATO) (S). 

" (i) Radio (S) CM-In-2005. Devers to WD, 3 Jul 43. (2) Radio (S) CM-Out-1994, WD to Devers, 
5 Jul 43. WD Classified Message Center. 

"Maj Gen E. N. Harmon, par 3 g, "Report on Combat Experience and Battle Lessons for Training 
Purposes" to AFHQ, 13 Jun 43.319.1/13 (NATO) (S). 



REORGANIZATION FOR COMBAT 



331 



where feasible, did not favor this proposal.^* Nor was it possible to drop many 
drivers from armored infantry units. The strengthening of armored infantry was 
accomplished by a positive increase in numbers, the battalion rising to a total of 
1,001. The three battalions combined carried 750 more rifles and carbines than 
the regiment which they replaced, as well as a heavy increase in machine guns 
and bazookas. The ratio of infantrymen per tank for the division rose from 6.1 
to 114, 

Overhead was saved, as in the infantry division, by pushing some functions 
forward to line units and others rearward to army. Concentration of administra- 
tive activities in the battalions, and elimination of the regiment as a rigid and 
unnecessary barrier between battalions and combat commands, led to a great 
saving in personnel not intended primarily for combat. Half the strength of the 
two tank regiments in the 1942 tables was regimental and battalion overhead. 
(See chartj "The Armored Division,") Only a third of the strength of the three 
tank battalions in the 1943 tables was overhead. In the infantry component the 
proportion of personnel not in rifle companies fell from about a third to about 
a quarter. In the artillery battalions personnel was cut about 25 percent through 
drastic reduction of headquarters and service batteries. 

Auxiliary elements were reduced less than in the infantry division. Indeed 
the reconnaissance and signal elements were enlarged. Economy was indirectly 
effected in reconnaissance through standardization; the battalion, hitherto a 
special armored organization, was now constituted as a squadron of four cavalry 
troops of the type organic in the infantry division, plus an assault gun troop 
and one light tank company of the type organic in the reorganized tank bat- 
talion. The engineer battalion was cut more than 40 percent at the personal 
insistence of General McNair, who believed that it should resemble the en- 
gineer battalion of the infantry division. The treadway bridge company was 
removed and made a nondivisional army unit. The four general engineer com- 
panies were reduced to three. General McNair found it inconsistent for armored 
proponents to argue that a great advantage of tracked vehicles was their ability 
to move off roads and at the same time to demand an exceptional complement 
of engineers because roads used by tracked vehicles needed frequent repair.^" 



'"Memo (S) of Gen McNair tor DCofS USA, 20 Jul 43, sub: Comments on Maj Gen Harmon's Rpt. 
319.1/13 (NATO) (S). 

^""AGF M/S, CG to Red Bd, 31 Mar 43, sub: Armd Engr Bn. AGF Orgn Div, Rqts Sec file "Armored 
Division" (36560), 



332 



ORGANIZATION OF GROUND COMBAT TROOPS 



Much controversy developed over the division supply battalion, a quarter- 
master unit. The supply battalion represented the doctrine that the armored 
division might operate far from the mass of the forces, beyond normal support 
by army units, "Unquestionably," wrote General Patton from North Africa, 
"our original conception that we needed 250 miles of rolling supplies is errone- 
ous. In the fighting we are now having, and did have, you were damn lucky 
if you got forward three miles a day. When a breakthrough occurs you can 
always steal enough trucks from corps or army to give you the additional rolling 
reserve." This statement was seized upon by General McNair, who desired, for 
the armored division as for the infantry division, that supply should be direct 
from army supply points to using units, bypassing the division. General Gillem, 
returning from Africa and Sicily, urged that the supply battalion be retained. 
Officers of General McNair's staff were divided. General McNair settled the 
issue, noting for his Requirements Section on 10 August 1943 the following 
considerations:*^ 

I feel definitely that we have passed the stage of arguments in connection with reor- 
ganizing the armored division. ... I have contacted various individuals about it for a 
period of many months, and there are many, many views; it is impossible to meet all of them. 

There is no question whatever that the division is oversupplied. Patton has admitted 
this categorically. Also there is no question that the army can supply the armored division 
as well as any other element. I am informed that Patton now has in Sicily a mere 23,000 
motor vehicles, and it is not hard for me to believe it. 

The supply battalion was omitted. 

The new armored division, to summarize, numbered 10,937 officers and 
men. The main innovation was the increase in the ratio of infantry to tanks, 
achieved both by raising the number of infantrymen and by reducing the 
number of tanks. The division was cut almost 4,000 in personnel, of whom 2,661 
came out of tank units. Tank units lost more than 50 percent in personnel, but 
only 25 percent in medium tanks. Some 500 individuals were taken from the 
armored artillery without loss of fire power. Other savings of personnel were 
mainly in the relegation of certain quartermaster and engineer functions to 
army. The conspicuous feature of the new division was the 3:3:3 ratio of bat- 
talions of tanks, infantry, and artillery, and the flexible command arrangements 

" Personal Itr (S) of Gen Patton to Gen Gillem (cpy sent to AGF), 21 May 43, 320.2/24 (Armd F) (S). 
AGF M/Ss (R) written between 31 Jul and 10 Aug 1943. 320.2/78 (Armd F) (R). 



REORGANIZATION FOR COMBAT 



333 



by which those battalions were held together. With its auxiliaries, the new 
armored division was a federation of thirteen battalions led by a major general. 
It was intended that the federation be an open one, able to absorb by attachment 
tank destroyer and antiaircraft battalions, as well as additional battalions of 
tanks, infantry, and artillery. 

Tank battalions withdrawn from the armored divisions became available 
as nondivisional units. Two were obtained from each of the fourteen divisions 
reorganized (all but the 2d and 3d Armored Divisons).^^ Theoretically the 
reduction from 6 to 3 tank battalions in each division should have released 3 
in each; but the simultaneous enlargement of the battalions absorbed i battalion 
per division. The newly gained separate battalions, added to those already 
mobilized, produced for the first time a number of separate tank battalions 
roughly equivalent to the number of infantry divisions." This ratio had long 
been desired by the Army Ground Forces* It was tardily reached, in the closing 
months of 1943, because of the time spent in redesigning the armored division, 
and because of the unwillingness of the War Department to authorize more 
tank battalions until the armored division question was settled.^" Consequently 
it was only at the end of 1943 that tank battalions were available in sufficient 
numbers to permit infantry divisions to undergo combined training with 
tanks. 

The net effect of the reorganization of the armored division, aside from 
making the armored division a more effective team of combined arms, was to 
shift the bulk of the tank strength of the Army from armored divisions to the 
support of infantry. Plans at the end of 1942 envisaged, for the end of 1943, 
120 tank battalions in armored divisions and only 38 in the nondivisional pool. 
What the Army actually had at the end of 1943 was 54 battalions in armored 
divisions and 65 in the nondivisional pooL^ Tank battalions in the nondivisional 



" (i) AGF memo (C) for G-3 WD, 18 Aug 43. sub: Rcorgn of Tank Bns. 321/3 (Tank Units) (C). 
(2) AGF memo (S) for G-3 WD, 22 Sep 43, sub: Tactical and Tng Control of GHQ Tank Bns. 320.2/36 
(TB 43) (S). Thirteen divisions, from the 4th to the 20th Armored, inclusive, were reorganized by the 
Army Ground Forces. The ist Armored was reorganized overseas. 

'* See above, ["Ground Forces in the Army, December 1941-April 1945: a Statistical Study/^ 

"WD memo (S) WDGCT 320 (1-11-43) for OG AGF, 5 Feb 43, sub: Trends in Orgn of Armd Fs, 
with related papers, 320.2/20 (Armd F) (S) . 

"Counting 3 tank battalions in each of 14 armored divisions, 6 in each of 2 armored divisions. The 
differences in totals for tank battalions were due to over-all curtailment of the mobilization program for 
Ground Forces, See above, ['Ground Forces in the Army, December i94i-April 1945: a Stadstical Study." | 



334 



ORGANIZATION OF GROUND COMBAT TROOPS 



pool, despite projects for their employment in armored groups or in reinforce- 
ment of armored divisions, in practice became habitually attached to infantry 
divisions in the theaters. With the infantry division gaining tanks, and the 
armored division gaining infantry, the two came slightly together. But the differ- 
ence remained radical: the armored division had a battalion of tanks for each 
battalion of infantry; the infantry division, with an attached tank battalion, 
had a battalion of tanks for nine battalions of infantry. The two divisions 
remained suited for altogether different roles, since their infantry also was 
differently equipped. 

General McNair continued to consider the armored division an expensive 
military investment. The new tables had not long been published when he noted, 
on 9 October 1943, that the "slugging component" of the division (tanks and 
infantry) numbered only 5,190, the remaining 5,747 being supporting and over- 
head elements.^" To maintain sixteen armored divisions seemed to him a luxury 
in the circumstances then obtaining, with manpower so short that planned 
activations were being cancelled and infantry divisions were being stripped for 
replacements needed in Italy. Events of 1943 had confirmed him in the belief, 
stated on 28 January 1943 in the memorandum quoted at length above, that the 
proper function of armored divisions was to exploit a success already won. For 
this purpose he thought, in October 1943, that an army aggregating only ninety 
divisions of all types needed no more than ten armored divisions. "An armored 
division," he wrote, "is of value only in pursuit or exploitation. For plain and 
fancy slugging against an enemy who is unbroken or at least intact the tank 
battalion or group is adequate." He thought that tank and infantry battalions 
could engage in close fighting with less overhead than the armored division pro- 
vided. He recommended to the War Department that six armored divisions be 
inactivated, their tank and infantry battalions retained as nondivisional units, 
and their remaining personnel used either as overseas replacements or as fillers 
for new units in the mobilization program.^® The War Department rejected this 
proposal, and the Army retained its sixteen armored divisions. 

It was felt by some that General McNair took a negative and unfriendly 
attitude toward armor. That he was a severe critic of armored organization can- 
not be doubted. Challenged on these matters in February 1944, he declared flatly 
to the Assistant Secretary of War, speaking of the forthcoming invasion of west- 

" AGF M/S (C), CG to Plans, i Oct 43. AGF Plans Sec file (C), 

" AGF memo (S) for G-3 WD, 16 Oct 43. sub: TB 1944. 320.2/1 (TB 44) (S). 



REORGANIZATION FOR COMBAT 



335 



ern Europe, that "whether armor will pay its freight remains to be seen." He 
had in mind, as of that date, the plan whereby one-third of the divisions used in 
the invasion would be armored. The whole question was one of ratios; it was not 
that General McNair scorned the armored division, but rather that he believed 
more infantry divisions were needed, and that ship tonnage would deliver more 
fighting power if the proportion of armor were reduced. As it turned out, the 
War Department after June 1944 was obliged to feed infantry divisions into the 
European Theater more rapidly than had been anticipated. 

"Memo (S) of Gen McNair for ASW, 8 Feb 44, sub: Views Presented by Brig Gen R. E. Shugg. 
330.14/100 (Criticisms) (S). 



VI. Experimental Divisions 



Infantry and armored divisions bore the main burden of the land fighting 
in World War II: they came to number eighty-tw^o out of the eighty-nine divi- 
sions mobilized. Motorized, cavalry, airborne, mountain, and light divisions 
w^ere in varying degree experimental — even more so than the armored division, 
although they w^cre in substance infantry divisions, differing from standard 
infantry chiefly in their means of transport to the scene of combat. 



Cavcdry atid Motorized Divisions 

The cavalry division may seem an exception. Far from being a novel ex- 
periment, the cavalry division w^as an old organization, and its cavalrymen 
remained in principle horsed, not mechanized/ But transportation of horses 
w^as so costly in ship tonnage, and their feeding and upkeep presented such 
great difficulties to a motorized army, that no plans were made for shipment 
of cavalry divisions w^ith their mounts. Of the tw^o divisions mobilized, the 2d 
Cavalry Division w^as dispatched to North Africa early in 1944 only to be 
inactivated and broken up. Suitable employment for the ist Cavalry Division 
w^as found in the Southwest Pacific, where it fought dismounted as infantry, 
under special Tables of Organization and Equipment which raised it almost 
to the size of an infantry division. It retained the basic square formation of the 
cavalry division and lacked the 155-mm. howitzer battalion found in the in- 
fantry division, but was supplied with special allowances of heavy weapons and 
other equipment of infantry type. It should be noted that the single cavalry 

* (i) Memo of SW for USW, 21 Jul 42, sub not given. 321/99 (Cav). (2) AGF memo for G-3 WD, 
5 May 42, sub: Cav Orgn. 321/51 (Cav), 



REORGANIZATION FOR COMBAT 



337 



division included only a fraction of cavalry units in the Army, for over 20,000 
cavalrymen, all mechanized, were present in infantry and armored divisions, 
and almost 30,000 in nondivisional cavalry squadrons, chiefly mechanized. 

The motorized division was adopted shortly after Pearl Harbor, with the 
intention that one be mobilized for each two armored divisions, the three to 
form a normal armored corps. The division in its short life went through vari- 
ous stages of planning, but in general it was conceived as an infantry division 
equipped organically with trucks for simultaneous movement without shut- 
tling, and with large elements for reconnaissance, maintenance, and supply 
to give it tactical independence. From the beginning General McNair advised 
against this type of division, believing it wasteful to assign so much transporta- 
tion organically, and preferring that improvements in infantry be made avail- 
able to all infantry divisions alike,^ 

Five infantry divisions were ordered converted to motorized in 1942, and 
five more were planned for 1943; but in practice only the 4th Division was 
fully outfitted with the appropriate equipment, and it received so great an 
additional quantity of equipment and personnel, over the established Table 
of Organization, as to constitute a special task force. It was earmarked in 
August 1942 for overseas shipment. But it required so much ship tonnage — as 
much as an armored division without having the same hitting power — that no 
theater commander requested it in the following months.^ Even at T/O strength, 
the motorized division included almost 3,000 vehicles, over 1,000 more than the 
reduced infantry division as planned by the Army Ground Forces, Its tires 
consumed almost twice as many tons of rubber — ^318 compared with 166. Its 
equipment required almost twice as much ocean tonnage — approximately 60,000 
compared with 32,0000. The motorized division was, therefore, viewed with 
extreme disfavor by the AGF Reduction Board. General McNair recommended 
its abolition.* 

The question was not whether infantry should be motorized, but how motor 
vehicles should be organized to motorize it most effectively. Infantry could not 

" Memo for Gen Moore, 19 Jan 42, sub: Conservation of Mil Equip. McNair Correspondence. 

' AGF memo (S) for G-3 WD, 4 May 1943, sub: Reorgn o£ the Mtz Div. 322/5 (4th Div) (S). 

' (1) WD Itr AG 320.2 (1-19-42) PC-C, 20 Feb 42, sub: Orgn of the Mtz Div. AGO Records. (2) T/O 
77, I Aug 42. (3) Tabic, undated (Jan 43) sub: Comparative figures between Mtz and Inf Divs. AGF Crgn 
Div, Rqts Sec files. (4) AGF M/S (S), Red Bd to CG, 23 Jan 43, sub: Mtz Div. AGF Orgn Div, Rqts Sec 
files. (5) Memo (C) of Gen McNair for G-3 WD, 7 Dec 42, sub: Orgn of Armd Units, 320.2/18 (Armd F) 
(C). i6) Memo (S) of Gen McNair for G-3 WD, 28 Jan 43, sub; Basis of Orgn of Mtz Div. 322/1 (Divs) (S). 



338 



ORGANIZATION OF GROUND COMBAT TROOPS 



fight from trucks; trucks were used only to put it into position for battle. It 
was desirable that a given number of trucks provide this form of mobility for 
a maximum number of troops. In 1936 the War Department, when planning 
to triangularize the division^ had laid down the principle that motor transport 
for infantrymen should be pooled. General McNair clung to this principle. 
Shipping considerations now gave it added weight. 

The standard infantry division was by no means immobile. All elements 
but the infantry were motorized. With its organic trucks the division could 
move in short bounds by shuttling, its trucks dumping their organic loads, 
moving the infantry, then returning to bring up the loads. As reduced by the 
Army Ground Forces in the months following November 1942, the division 
could move all personnel and equipment simultaneously if reinforced by six 
quartermaster truck companies, each operating forty-eight aj^-ton trucks. Six 
such companies, even with forty-eight i-ton trailers apiece, required only 15,000 
ship tons, roughly half the difference between the standard infantry and the 
motorized infantry division. With a pool of such companies an army commander 
could operate flexibly, either using the trucks to motorize infantry divisions at 
will or employing them for altogether different purposes if more urgent. 

For a time the Operations Division (OPD), War Department General 
Staff, was unwilling to do away with the motorized division, believing it neces- 
sary as a means of giving infantry support to armored divisions. The decision 
to raise the infantry-tank ratio within the armored division reduced this need. 
OPD withdrew its objections on 18 February 1943, contingent upon reorganiza- 
tion of the armored division as proposed by the Army Ground Forces. All motor- 
ized divisions except the 4th were reconverted to standard infantry in March 
1943." 

The Army Ground Forces, understanding from OPD that there was no 
prospective employment for a motorized division, requested permission to recon- 
vert the 4th also,* OPD decided that "the 4th Motorized Division should be main- 
tained for the present as a nucleus of personnel trained for a function, the value 
of which has not been conclusively disproved." ^ The European Theater, queried 

• (i) WD memo (S) WDGCT 320 (12-7-42) for CofS USA, 16 Jan 43, sub: Orgn of Armd Units. 
AGO Records 320.2 (1-16-43) (5) (S). (2) WD memo (S) WDGCT 320 (2-24-43) to CofS USA, 24 
Feb 43, sub: Reorgn of the Mtz Div. AGO Records, 320.2 (12-7-42) (S) . 

• AGF memo (S) for G-3 WD, 4 May 43, sub: Reorgn of Mtz Div. 322/5 (4th Div) (S). 

^ WD D/F (S) OPD 320,2 ETO (5-4-43) for G-3 WD, 6 May 43, sub as above. 322/5 (4th Div) (S). 



REORGANIZATION FOR COMBAT 



339 



on the subject, stated on i6 June 1943 that no motorized division was included 
in its plans for 1944 but that all infantry divisions should receive training in motor 
movement.^ The 4th Division was then reconverted. A standing operating pro- 
cedure for motor movement of infantry divisions was developed by the Infantry 
School.® Motor movement with attached trucks became a standard part of 
infantry division training. 

Disappearance of the motorized division as a special unit was an incident 
in the reorganization of infantry and armored divisions. Its loss was not regretted 
later. Under stress of combat, units accomplished feats of transport not foreseen 
by the most economical planners. The i8th Infantry, during the rush across 
northern France,^ after having required 100 quartermaster trucks for the same 
type of job, found that it could move more than thirty miles a day without addi- 
tional transportation, remaining at all times in condition to fight, simply by 
piling infantrymen on the howitzers, tanks, and tank destroyers attached to 
the regimental combat team.^^ By similar improvised methods the entire 36th 
Division passed through the city of Rome in ten hours." 

Airborne, Mountain, Jungle 
and "JJg/it" Divisions 

It was clear in 1942 that the Army must prepare itself for a variety of special- 
ized operations, both operations under extreme conditions of climate, exempli- 
fied in Norway, Libya, and Malaysia, and operations by special means of assault, 
such as amphibious and airborne. The practical question was how far to go in 
organizing special-type units for these operations. General McNair did not wish 
to go very far. Following the principles of flexibility and economy, he was dis- 
inclined to organize manpower and resources for special needs which might 
never materialize, or which, if they did, might be less urgent than the need for 
standard forces. He believed that training in special-type units almost invariably 
taught particular skills ("tricks") at the expense of general military proficiency. 
He emphasized the futility of perfecting men in the techniques of skis, gliders, or 

' Radio (S) CM-In- 10004, 16 Jun 43 (S). WD Classified Message Center. 

•AGF Itr to TIS, 27 Aug 43, sub: SOP for Inf Divs Provided with Mtr Trans for Foot Elements. 
321/696 (Inf). 

" "Battle Experiences Published by Hq 12th Army Group," No. 64 (R). 13 Oct 44. AGF G-n Records. 
"Ma) Gen F. L. Walker, "Experiences with the 36th Division in Italy," Miiitary Review, XXIV 
(i945)» 15- 



340 



ORGANIZATION OF GROUND COMBAT TROOPS 



landing craft if after meeting the enemy they were not competent all-round 
soldiers. He preferred, therefore, to have the Army Ground Forces concentrate 
on production of standard units and give special training only to units v^^hich 
had completed their standard training, and only when operations requiring 
special training could be definitely foreseen. Much of such training, he thought, 
could best be given in the theaters. Training for specialized operations could be 
more realistic in the theater where the operations were to take place, and such 
operations usually required a long enough period of preparation to make appro- 
priate training feasible.^^ 

In the six months from March to September 1942 the Army Ground Forces 
launched four special installations: the Desert Training Center, the Airborne 
Command (later "Center"), the Amphibious Training Command (later "Cen- 
ter"), and the Mountain Training Center." Each had the mission of testing 
equipment and formulating requirements within the field of its specialty, and of 
supervising the special training of such standard units as might be entrusted to 
it for the purpose. The Airborne Command also produced special-type troops, at 
first mainly parachutists but including a glider battalion. At the Mountain Train- 
ing Center a few specially designated mountain units were assembled. No spe- 
cially designated desert or amphibious forces developed. Airborne and mountain 
troops were not organized in units as large as the division. 

The airborne and the mountain divisions, though not yet physically organ- 
ized, were among the six types of divisions recognized by the War Department 
in March 1942. The mountain division was a true division, with a published 
Table of Organization. The airborne division was not thought of as a true divi- 
sion but rather as a task force to be assembled when needed by combining para- 
chute regiments with standard forces trained in air transport for the occasion. 
This conception of the airborne division kept reappearing in the following years. 

TTie strategic plans initiated in March 1942, looking to invasion of western 
Europe in April 1943, included the use of one United States airborne division." 
General McNair, after consultation with the Airborne Command, became con- 
vinced of the need for a formally organized airborne division, activated and 
trained as such. "An airborne division should be evolved," he noted for his staff 

" See for example AGF memo (S) for G-3 WD, 24 Oct 42, sub: Jungle Tng. 353/1 (Mtn & Jungle) (S). 
" See studies of each of these installations prepared by the AGF Historical Section. 

"Memo (S) of Col Lemnitzcr for CofS AGF, 17 Jun 42, sub: A/B Div for Bolero. AGF Plans Sec file, 
20/1 (Bolero) (S). 



REORGANIZATION FOR COMBAT 



in June 1942, "with a stinginess of overhead and in transportation which has 
absolutely no counterpart thus far in our military establishment." " The War 
Department approved an AGF proposal to activate two such divisions, and in 
August 1942 the 82d and the loist Airborne Divisions were formed by con- 
version of the 82d Infantry Division, with added parachute regiments/^ A Table 
of Organization for the airborne division, prepared at the headquarters of the 
Army Ground Forces in August, was published under date of 15 October 1942." 
Five airborne divisions were eventually activated under this table. 

As conceived in 1942 (and until the end of 1944) the airborne division was 
a miniature infantry division, with an aggregate strength of only 8,500, but 
complete with all normal divisional parts plus a small organic antiaircraft bat- 
talion. Each division had one parachute infantry regiment, and two glider 
infantry regiments, numbering 1,958 and 1,605 respectively, in contrast 
with the 3,000 troops in the standard infantry regiment. Weapons were those of 
the infantry division, with a predominance of the lighter types; the division 
artillery consisted of thirty-six 75-mm, pack howitzers. Vehicles numbered only 
408 motors and 239 trailers, a total of 647, in contrast with some 2,000 in the 
standard infantry division. The division had no organic aircraft, depending for 
movement on the pool of transport planes controlled by the Army Air Forces. 

Tables for the airborne division remained substantially unchanged for two 
years. On entering combat, however, the airborne divisions departed consider- 
ably from their tabular organization, rearranging their resources to meet the 
circumstances of each case. 

In the summer of 1942, with an offensive in the Southwest Pacific in view, 
the War Department turned its attention to the preparation of mountain and 
jungle troops. The standard infantry division had too many heavy weapons and 
vehicles to move easily through roadless, mountainous, or densely wooded 
country. In August 1942 OPD urged consideration of a lightly equipped jungle 
division of some 10,000 officers and men.^^ War Department plans for mobiliza- 

" (i) AGF M/S (S), CG to CofS 19 Jun 42. (2) Memo (S) of Gen McNair for G-3 WD, 2 Jul 42, sub: 
Policy re Tng of A/B Trs. (3) AGF memo (S) for G-3 WD, 17 Jul 42, sub: Activation of A/B Divs. All in 
320.2/3 and 4 (AB) (S). 

"AGF Itr (R) to CGs Third Army and A/B Comd^ 30 Jul 42, sub: Activation of 82d and loist A/B 
Divs. 320.2/9 (AB) (R). 

"T/O 71, 15 Oct 42, and allied tables. 

" WD memo (S) OPD 320.2 (8-7-42) for G-3 WD, 7 Aug 42, sub; Trs for Jungle Combat. 353/3 
(Mtn& Jungle) (S). 



342 



ORGANIZATION OF GROUND COMBAT TROOPS 



tion in 1943, though not fully crystallized at this time, contemplated two or 
three mountain and jungle divisions.'^ 

General McNair, while believing jungle training to be possible in certain 
parts of Florida and Louisiana, had no desire to establish a jungle center in 
the United States. This view received support from General MacArthur, who 
notified the War Department that he preferred his units to receive standard 
training at home, and jungle training in the Southwest Pacific under his own 
supervision. At the same time General MacArthur agreed that an experiment 
with a lightly equipped infantry division might be profitable. General McNair 
saw the formation of mountain and jungle units as two aspects of a single 
problem, namely, the creation of a unit dependent in large measure on human 
and animal transportation. He wished a minimum of animals in the Army's 
transport and advised against the formation of "light divisions," which included 
animal units, of unsuitable power for employment in many theaters. He 
thought that for the time being the whole enterprise should be kept on an 
experimental basis, confined to research on mountain and jungle requirements 
and to the special training of a few infantry regiments and supporting units. 
Mountain training on this scale was already beginning at the Mountain Train- 
ing Center, and jungle training was conducted in Panama. By using personnel 
so trained as cadres and drawing on the results of research, mountain and 
jungle divisions could be formed in the future if and when prospects of their 
employment became more certain.^** 

Both the AGF G-3 Section and OPD, however, favored the formation of 
light divisions at once.^"^ The whole problem of reducing Ground Force needs 
for ship space was under discussion in October 1942.^^ It was also felt that 
standard divisions would have to be virtually reorganized, reequipped, and 
retrained for amphibious operations and for mountain or jungle warfare. This 
had been the experience with divisions sent to England in the summer of 1942 

^"WD Itr (S) AG 320.2 (&-27-42) MS-C-M to CGs AGF, AAF, SOS, 28 Aug 42, sub: TB 1943. 
320.2/3 (TB) (43) (S). 

*See papers in 353/1 and 3 (Mrn St Jungle) (S), especially AGF memo for G-3 WD, 24 Oct 42, sub: 
Jungle Tng. 

" (i) WD memo (S) WDGCT 320.2 Gen (10-1-42) for OPD, i Oct 42, sub: Revision of Certain Type 
Units in TB. (2) WD memo (S) OPD 320.2 (10-1-42) for G-3 WD, sub as above, 12 Oct 42. Both in OPD 
Records 320.2 Sec IX (9) (S). 

" Sec abovc, [pp. 286-89.1 



REORGANIZATION FOR COMBAT 



343 



for the early cross-Channel plans, with divisions preparing for amphibious land- 
ings in North Africa, and with divisions initiating the offensive in the Solomon 
Islands and New Guinea, OPD, to avoid such special refitting of standard divi- 
sions, proposed an all-purpose light division, to be usable in any conditions 
where relatively little equipment could be carried. Such conditions were thought 
by OPD to exist not only in mountain and jungle warfare but also in amphibi- 
ous and airborne undertakings. It was felt by OPD that the light division, like 
certain Japanese forces, should be able to operate without motor transport and 
even without animals." 

In January 1943 the War Department directed the Army Ground Forces 
to prepare tables for such a unit.^* The light division now proposed was more 
acceptable to General McNair than the light division previously envisaged. It 
was less subject to the disadvantage of overspecialization. At the same time the 
general program for economizing manpower and equipment had begun. The 
Army Ground Forces was engrossed in the reduction of units of all types. Ship 
space for ground troops was critically short. These were the months when no 
divisions were leaving the United States, Without having initiated or promoted 
the idea of the light division, the Army Ground Forces assumed the task of 
developing it and had genuine interest in its success. It was hoped that the light 
division, though admittedly weaker than the standard infantry division, would 
nevertheless bring to bear, in the circumstances in which it was used, as much 
fire power as would a standard division in the same circumstances. It could be 
shipped overseas more readily than the standard division, would be easier to 
supply and maintain, and like all divisions it could be reinforced as needed from 
nondivisional pools. 

Preliminary tables for a light division were submitted to the War Depart- 
ment on 2 March 1943.^^ The division as outlined had a total strength of about 
9,000. It had the same parts as an infantry division, except that all parts were 
smaller, no reconnaissance troop was provided, and field artillery was limited 
to three battalions of 75-mm. pack howitzers. The division was meant to be 

" WD memo (S) OPD 320.2 (12-30-42) for G-3 WD, 30 Dec 42, sub: Light Divs. OPD Records, 320.2 
Sec IX (9) (S). 

(i) WD D/F (S) WDGCT 320.2 Gen (12-30-42) for CG AGF, 5 Jan 43, sub: Light Divs. (2) AGF 
memo (S) for G-3 WD, 29 Jan 43, sub as above. 322/2 (Divs) (S). 

" (i) AGF memo (S) for G-3 WD, 2 Mar 43. sub as above, 322/2 (Divs) (S). (2) T/O&E 72 T, 
21 Jan 44. (3) AGF M/S (C), CG to CofS, 5 Jul 43, sub: Rpt on Winter Opns of 2d Inf Div, 1943-43- 
353/1 (Winter) (C). 



344 



ORGANIZATION OF GROUND COMBAT TROOPS 



usable for mountain, jungle, airborne^ or amphibious operations through at- 
tachment of appropriate transportation. Organic transportation was limited to 
handcarts (together with toboggan sleds for cold-weather mountain oper- 
ations), except that the field artillery had either pack mules or ^4-ton trucks. 
Other elements than the field artillery would receive transportation by attach- 
ment in the form needed — ^pack mules, light trucks, or native bearers — in 
quantity sufficient to bring supplies from army supply points (or their equiva- 
lent) five miles in the rear, or in larger quantity if supply lines were longer. 
For airborne operations the light division would train with gliders and would 
be combined with nondivisional parachute regiments to form an airborne strik- 
ing force of divisional size. In mountains the division could be reenforced by the 
attachment of ski troops. Used amphibiously, the division would of course train 
with landing craft. Armament would vary slightly according to the operation, 
with special issues of submachine guns for jungle fighting, automatic rifles for 
airborne and amphibious assaults, and Mi rifles for the mountains. 

Organization was now ready, but mobilization remained problematical. 
Whether or not to convert airborne to light divisions long remained an open 
question. Conversion of the cavalry divisions was likewise an issue.^® General 
McNair in April 1943 recommended the formation of eight light divisions," 
Ten light divisions were proposed in May by G-3, WDGS, to be formed by 
conversion of six infantry and four airborne divisions — all the airborne divisions 
except the 82d, which was already overseas preparing for the landing in Sicily.^® 
General Eisenhower thought the light division might have a limited usefulness 
in such terrain as in Tunisia.^® Col. F. D. Merrill, then representing General 
Stilwell in Washington, called the proposed light division almost identical with 
the Chinese divisions as reorganized in India and believed that light divisions 
would be valuable in jungles and mountains and in undeveloped countries such 
as China,^** General MacArthur, for whose theater the light division had been 



(i) Memo (S) of Gen McNair for G-3 WD, 25 Feb 43, sub: Light Divs. 322/2 (Divs) (S). (2) WD 
memo OPD 320.2 (12-30-42) for G-3 WD, 3 Feb 43, sub as above. OPD Records. 

"Memo (S) of Gen McNair for G-3 WD, 14 Apr 43, sub: Modification of Mob Procedures. 381/177 (S). 

^WD memo (S) WDGCT 320,2 Gen (5-17-43) for CofS USA, 17 May 43, sub: Light Divs. OPD 
Records, 320.2 Sec IX (9) (S), 

" Radio (S) CM-In-550, Algiers to War, i Jun 43. WD Classified Message Center. 

"^Memo (S) of Col F. D. Merrill for Chief, Tr See, Logistics Gp, OPD, 22 May 43. Written on OPD 
letterhead, signed *'For Lt. Gen. Stilwell.'* OPD Records, 320.2 Sec IX (g) (S). 



REORGANIZATION FOR COMBAT 



345 



primarily designed, thought the proposed light division too deficient in fire 
power and too weak logistically for employment in the Pacific islands/^ 

Proceeding cautiously, the War Department in June 1943 authorized the 
formation for test purposes of only one light division, to be obtained by con- 
version of one of the standard infantry divisions already mobilized.^^ Attached 
transportation was to be trucks. The Army Ground Forces, believing that the 
time had come to give divisional organization to units at the Mountain Training 
Center, recommended the formation of a second light division, using pack mules. 
This was approved by the War Department,^^ Coming back to the idea of a 
jungle division, the Army Ground Forces also recommended and obtained 
approval for the formation of a third light division, to train as a pack unit/* 

Three light divisions were therefore authorized in June 1943* The 89th 
Light Division (Truck) was formed by conversion of the 89th Infantry Division. 
The loth Light Division (Pack, Alpine) was activated mainly from elements 
trained at the Mountain Training Center, centering about the 87th Mountain 
Infantry Regiment. The 71st Light Division (Pack, Jungle) was activated from 
miscellaneous elements already mobilized, mainly the 5th Infantry and 14th 
Infantry, which had received jungle training in Panama. Each was to engage 
in tests and maneuvers at the earliest practicable moment. Each was in effect 
a special unit, hardly embodying the flexible principles which lay behind earlier 
plans. Indeed, the mountaineers and ski experts now incorporated into the loth 
Light Division could hardly be used in tropical warfare without excessive waste 
of human material. 

Activation of the three light divisions added no strength to the Army, being 
simply a reorganization of elements already in existence. The three light divi- 
sions were included in the total of ninety divisions of all types to which the 
mobilization program was reduced in June 1943. With the number of standard 
divisions thus restricted, no more was heard of converting standard -infantry to 
light. In September General McNair again raised the question of converting 

(i) WD memo (S) WDGCT 320.2 Gen (5-21-43) for CofS USA, 21 May 43, sub: Light Divs. AGO 
Records 322 (21-May 43) (22) (S). (2) For Gen McNair's comments on Gen MacArthur*s views, see memo 
of Gen McNair for G-3 WD, 24 May 43, sub: Proposed Li^du Div. 322/2 (Divs) (S). 

^'WD memo (S) WDGCT 320.2 Gen (5-21-43) for CofS USA, 21 May 43, sub: Light Divs. AGO 
Records 322 (21 May 43) (22) (S). 

''WD memo (S) WDGCT 320.2 Gen (5-21-43) for CG AGF, 3 Jun 43, sub as above, with memo 
for record. AGO Records 322 (21 May 43) (22) (S). 

^* AGF memo (S) for G-3 WD, 15 Jun 43, sub: 89th and 71st Light Divs, loth Mtn Div. (Approved 
by DCofS USA, 21 Jun 43.) 322/2 (Divs) (S). 



346 



ORGANIZATION OF GROUND COMBAT TROOPS 



the airborne divisions/'^ Airborne operations in Sicily had been disappointing. 
Three airborne divisions were still in the United States, with their usefulness 
limited to special activities the value of which was currently in doubt. General 
McNair proposed that the airborne divisions be broken up, with their parachute 
elements set up as nondivisional units, and their remaining elements organized 
as light divisions and given a broad general training. Training for airborne 
operations, he proposed, should take place in the theater for each operation 
and should be given to combinations of parachute units and light divisions 
selected for the purpose. This proposal was not accepted by the War Department. 
In October 1943, while the idea of expanding the Ground Forces to 105 divisions 
was under consideration, the War Department proposed activating four more 
light divisions, to make a total of seven.^^ It was now General McNair who 
opposed an increase of light divisions.^^ He did so even before the collapse of 
the 105-division program, after which in any case no increase of light divisions 
would probably have occurred. 

General McNair advised against further activation of light divisions be- 
cause of opposition from the Southwest Pacific. Officers of this theater pro- 
nounced the light division useless for amphibious operations since the first land- 
ing waves had to be immediately reinforced in all possible strength. They said 
that heavier artillery than 75-mm. pack howitzers and more capacious vehicles 
than ^-ton jeeps were indispensable at whatever cost of ocean shipping or 
road-building effort. The theater preferred to use the standard division, even 
when only a fraction of the division was committed, and to employ the remain- 
der of the division as a source of reinforcement and supply. Commanders in the 
theater declared that the best policy for fighting in remote localities such as the 
north shore of New Guinea, at the end of long airborne and seaborne supply 
lines, was to put in a standard division, and use it to the point of exhaustion. 
The Southwest Pacific Area Command was unwilling to receive any light divi- 
sions except as additions to the standard infantry divisions allotted to it.^* 

" AGF memo (S) for CofS USA, 22 Sep 43, sub: Rpt of Bd on A/B Opns. 353/17 (AB) (S). 
Tentative TB 1944. AGF Plans Sec fi[e 185 (S), Sec above. T 'Ground Forces in the Arrny^ I>ecembcr| 
1941-April 1945: a Statistical Study." 

"AGF memo (S) for G-3 WD, 17 Nov 43, sub: Proposed Light Div, 322/2 (Divs) (S). 

" (1) Memo (S) of CofS AGF for CG AGF, 24 Mar 43, sub: Summary of Statements by Gen Suther- 
land. 320.3/149 (PTO) (S). (2) WD memo (S) WDGCT 320.2 Gen (5-21-43) for CofS USA, 21 May 43, 
sub: Light Divs. AGO Records 322 (21 May 43) (22) (S). (3) Hq USAF in Far East Itr (S) to TAG 
through C~in-C, SWPA, 2 Oct 43, 322/2 (Divs) (S). 



REORGANIZATION FOR COMBAT 



347 



General McNair believed this attitude short-sighted and wasteful. He 
wrote to the War Department on 17 November 1943: 

The Southwest Pacific Area now has a United States force aggregating some 272,000, 
including 124,000 service forces (46%). The maintenance of this force probably involves 
over 270,000 ship tons per month — one ton per man. There are five combat divisions which 
have reached there over a considerable period of lime. These divisions are substantially 
equivalent to eight light divisions, without considering the supporting units required. Five 
standard divisions require 173,000 ship tons for equipment while eight light divisions require 
54,000 tons. Thus, the light divisions would effect a saving for equipment of 119,000 tons — 
a fairly negligible amount in comparison with the shipping required to support the present 
great garrison. 

Under current War Department policies allowing the theater commanders wide latitude 
in utilizing the shipping available to them, it is clear that the Southwest Pacific Area has 
no intention of accepting a light division of whatever organization, unless forced to do so by 
the War Department. The ist Cavalry Division now has a reported aggregate strength of 
13,258, practically the same as the standard infantry division. 

, . . upon completion of the current tests of light divisions, it will be necessary to decide, 
not only the details of such organization, but whether theater commanders will be required 
to accept a light division when they prefer the heavier standard infantry division. In the 
meantime, it appears highly inadvisable to contemplate the activation of light divisions in 
addition to the three already in being. 

The loth, 71st, and 89th Light Divisions therefore remained the only units of 
their kind. They were experimental organizations rather than units known to 
be forming for combat. They continued with their tests with the outcome al- 
ready partly decided against them. 

Tests of the 71st and 89di Light Divisions (Pack and Truck respectively) 
culminated in maneuvers of the two divisions against each other from February 
to April 1944. The terrain chosen was the mountainous, virtually roadless, rela- 
tively warm area of the Hunter Liggett Military Reservation in California. The 
III Corps, which supervised the maneuvers, reported unfavorably. Handcarts, 
used by both divisions, were found to be inadequate and excessively fatiguing. 
Additional pack and truck transportation was provided during the maneuvers 
to permit continued action, and additional engineers were furnished to build 
trails needed by both mules and jeeps. Infantry regiments, only two-thirds the 
strength of the standard regiment to start with, employed a third or a half 

" (i) AGF memo (S) (rewritten by Gen McNair) tor G-3 WD, 17 Nov 43, sub: Proposed Light Div. 
322/2 (Divs) (S). (2) Personal Itr of Gen McNair to Mi) Gen C. H. White, 27 Dec. '43. McNair Cor- 
respondence. 



348 



ORGAMZATrON OF GROUND COMBAT TROOPS 



their combat soldiers to build trails and bring up supplies* Neither division 
managed to deploy more than six battalions of infantry. Reconnaissance units 
had to be improvised. The III Corps, concluding that the light division was 
incapable of sustaining itself for a period of any length, recommended a return 
to the organization and equipment of the standard infantry division, with. 
transfer of organic pack units (field artillery and quartermaster) to the nondivi- 
sional pool, from vi^hich they might be attached to standard divisions for moun- 
tain warfare.*** 

After these recommendations were accepted by General McNair and by 
the War Department General Staffs which had lost faith in the light division 
even before the tests were concluded/^ the 71st and 89th were reconverted to 
standard divisions. Receiving additional personnel from inactivation of anti- 
aircraft battalionsj and retraining as standard divisons at the last moment, both 
were among the last divisions to go overseas, leaving the command of the Army 
Ground Forces in January 1945.*^ The 71st Division, despite its jungle back- 
ground, was dispatched to the European Theater to help meet the emergency 
of the German breakthrough of December 1944, The incident illustrated the 
wisdom of avoiding overspecialization of forces. 

Tests of the loth Light Division (Pack, Alpine) produced equally negative 
results. Personnel and equipment were found to be insufficient in quantity. 
The Army Ground Forces in May 1944 recommended that the loth Light 
Division also be reorganized as a standard infantry division. It was pointed out 
that standard infantry divisions were fighting successfully in the Italian moun- 
tains. The Army Ground Forces feared administrative complications in main- 
taining a single special-type mountain division, but suggested that the moun- 
taineer and ski personnel of the loth Light Division be kept together for use 
as needed and expressed a readiness to organize an enlarged mountain division 
if this was desired.^^ The War Department decided to retain the loth as a special 

" (i) Hq HI Corps Itr to CG AGF, 7 Apr 44, sub: Sp Rpt on Maneuver Test, 71st and 89th Light Divs. 
321/808 (Inf). (2) in Corps Itr to CG AGF, 12 May 44, sub: Final Rpt on Hunter Liggett Maneuver No. i. 
354.2/42 (Hunter Liggett 44). 

"Memo (S) of Col R. P. Feeder, OPD, for ACofS OPD, 27 Mar 44, sub: Proposed Light Div. 322/2 
(Divs) (S). 

" (i) AGF memo for G-3 WD, 14 Apr 44, sub: 71st and 89th Light Divs. 321/808 (Inf). (2) WD 
memo (S) WDGCT 322 (7 Apr 44) for CG AGF, 22 Apr 44, sub as in (i). 320.2/34 (TB 44) (S). 

** AGF memo (C) (inclosing report) for G-3 WD, 10 May 44, sub: Rcorgn of loth Light Div (Alpine). 
322/1 (loth Div) (C). 



REORGANIZATION FOR COMBAT 



349 



mountain division. The Army Ground Forces prepared the tables, outhning a 
division of 14,101 oflScers and men, using over 6,000 mules and horses, but with 
motor transport for heavy hauls,"*^ The new T/O 70, published as of 4 November 
1944, in general resembled, in the size and structure of the division it authorized, 
the corresponding table of 1942 which had never been used. The loth Mountain 
Division embarked for Italy in December 1944. 

Airborne divisions developed in a direction opposite to that favored by 
General McNair in 1943. His desire to convert them to light divisions has 
been noted. In November 1943 General Ridgway, then commanding the battle- 
tested 82d Airborne Division, proposed an enlargement of the airborne division 
almost to the size of the infantry division." The European Theater concurred. 
General McNair, clinging to the idea of an easily transportable airborne division 
and restating his doubts as to the need of airborne divisions at all, advised against 
the proposal, and no action was taken,*® The European Theater continued to 
favor a larger airborne division, believing in the employment of airborne forces 
in mass. The influence of the European Theater naturally became dominant in 
1944. The Organization Division, Headquarters, Army Ground Forces, proc- 
essed new airborne division tables in December 1944, with such expeditiousness 
as to draw a commendation from the War Department.^^ The new table closely 
resembled the Ridgway proposal of a year earlier. Whereas the old division 
aggregated about 8,500, with infantry in one parachute and two glider regi- 
ments, with no artillery heavier than the 75-mm. howitzer, and with supporting 
elements at the barest minimum, the new division totaled 12,979, had two para- 
chute infantry regiments, a glider regiment virtually identical with standard 
infantry, a battalion of 105-mm. howitzers, and more fully developed support- 
ing units. The four airborne divisions in Europe were reorganized under the 
new table, the one in the Southwest Pacific remaining under the old. 

To summarize, by the beginning of 1945 all the experimental and special- 
type divisions of 1942 had either disappeared or to a large extent lost their special 

*^ (1) AGF memo for G^3 WD» 24 Oct 44, sub: T/O&E for Mtn Div. 320.3/779. (2) T/O&E 70, 
4 Nov 44. 

"WD memo (S) OPD 320.2 Afr (i Dec 43) (with inclosurcs) for CO AGF, 1 Dec 43, sub: Proposed 
T/O for A/B Divs. 320.3/75 (S). 

*^ AGF memo (S) for CPU 17 Dec 43, sub; Changes in T/O, A/B Div. 320.3/75 (S). 

"WD memo WDGCT 320.3 (18 Dec 44) for CO AGF, 18 Dec 44, sub: T/O&E for A/B Div. 
330-13/156 (Commendations). 



350 



ORGANIZATION OF GROUND COMBAT TROOPS 



features. The motorized and the light division had come and gone. The 
jungle division had never developed except as a form of light division. 
The mountain division was substantially an infantry division in which motor 
transportation way largely replaced by mules. The cavalry division was fighting 
as infantry. Both the mountain division and the cavalry division were unique 
organizations, not types. With one exception, the airborne divisions resembled 
infantry divisions in strength and structure, with modifications made necessary 
by their mode of reaching the scene of combat. The tendency was to have only 
two wholly distinct types of divisions — infantry and armored. With increasing 
demands for organic tanks in infantry divisions, and for more infantry in 
armored divisions (beyond the infantry increase of 1943), even the distinction 
between these two types was becoming less pronounced. 



VII. Army and Corps 



The preceding discussion of divisions, though fundamental, refers to only 
a minority of troops of the Army Ground Forces. Less than half the tactical 
troops of the Army Ground Forces were organic in divisions. More than half 
were in nondivisional combat and service units. The ratio on 31 March 1945 was 
approximately 15 to 12 — 1,468,941 officers and men in nondivisional units as 
against 1,194,398 in divisions. There were also 1,204,976 other officers and men in 
ASF-type units in the communications zone. None of these figures includes re- 
placements in training or personnel designated as overhead in the Troop Basis. 
In general ASF units were designed to operate in communications zones, AGF 
units in combat zones. It clarifies the picture to keep in mind that the total of 
ground troops was about 4,000,000, of which roughly 30 percent was in divisions, 
40 percent in nondivisional units of AGF type intended for the combat zone, and 
30 percent in nondivisional units of ASF type intended for the communications 
zone. Each of the 89 divisions, with an average T/0 strength of about 13,400, 
was backed by some 30,000 in nondivisional units, of whom 16,500 were designed 
for close support in the combat zone and 13,500 for rear-area employment. Of the 
16,500, about 11,300 were combat troops and about 5,200 service troops of AGF 
types, such as depot and maintenance companies of the several supply branches. 
Thus, toward the end of the war, each division had behind it about 11,300 non- 
divisional combat troops and approximately 18,700 nondivisional service troops,^ 

The present discussion deals only with nondivisional units of AGF types, 
numbering close to 1,500,000 troops, or 16,500 per division (as of 31 March 1945), 
and including units of all arms and services except the Air Corps and the Trans- 
portation Corps. The large number of these troops was a result of systematic 
application of the principles of streamlining and pooling, by which divisions 
were held to strictly defined minima and all else were centralized under higher 
headquarters. Examples of the methods by which nondivisional forces were 
increased are the policy of gathering a maximum of supply and maintenance 
services in the combat zone under army control, the withholding of antiair- 
craft and tank destroyers from organic assignment to divisions, the transfer of 



* All figures are from the Troop Basis of i April 1945 (S). See Table No. 2 p. 306. 



ORGANIZATION OF GROUND COMBAT TROOPS 



tank battalions from armored divisions to a nondivisional basis, the removal of 
the treadway bridge company and the supply battalion from the armored 
division, and the abolition of the organically motorized division, with truck 
transport pooled in nondivisional quartermaster companies. There are still other 
explanations for the growth of nondivisional units. All field artillery heavier 
than the 155-mm. howitzer was pooled at levels above the division, as were 
considerable amounts of the medium and lighter pieces. Most mechanized 
cavalry and all chemical troops were similarly pooled. The pool of engineers 
was very large, providing a strength of more than 2,300 per division, almost 
four times the strength of the engineer battalion organic in the division. There 
were three times as many signal troops in nondivisional units of the Army 
Ground Forces as in divisions, ten times as many quartermaster troops, and 
twelve times as many ordnance troops. Among the services, only the Medical 
Department had more personnel in divisions than in supporting medical units. 
These comparisons do not include ASF units in the communications zone. 

The reorganization of this great mass of forces, a major problem, took place, 
roughly, in the year extending from October 1942 to October 1943, The process 
followed the same lines as with the divisions. The Reduction Board meticulously 
reviewed and trimmed all T/O&E's of nondivisional units. At the same time 
the means of combining T/0 units into larger wholes was restudied. The 
objectives were always economy and flexibility. The problem was essentially a 
problem in the organization of armies and corps. Except for certain forces used 
to garrison small detached bases and certain antiaircraft and coast artillery used 
to defend airfields and fixed installations, all nondivisional troops of the Army 
Ground Forces were intended for assignment to armies or corps. 

Abandonment of the "Type" Army and ''Type" Corps 

In 1942, as already explained,^ military planning was conducted in terms 
of the type army and the type corps. The type army and corps had been developed 
in the preceding years, concurrently with the development of the triangular 
division, as a means of determining how many nondivisional units of various 
kinds would be required to supplement a given number of divisions. In the type 
army and the type corps, as in a T/0 unit, there were elements conceived to 
be "organic." The organic composition of army and corps in July 1942 is indi- 



* Sec above, |p. 279. | 



REORGANIZATION FOR COMBAT 



353 



cated in Table No. 4, For example, if 99 divisions were to be mobilized, it 
could be determined from the type organizations that 33 corps and 11 armies 
would be needed. Multiplying the number of nondivisional units organic in 
each corps by 33, and the number of nondivisional units organic in each army 
by II, and adding the two products, would give the number of nondivisional 
units required to produce a balanced combat force of 99 divisions. By a similar 
calculation the composition of a task force built around any number of divisions 
could be projected. It would be necessary in either calculation to consider the 
need for GHQ reserve troops not organic in army or corps, such as parachutists, 
tank battalions, and certain kinds of heavy artillery and service organizations. 

On 31 July 1942 the War Department directed the Army Ground Forces 
to present recommendations for revision of the type army and the type corps.' 
It was desired, in the interests of economy, that the necessity of all organic 
units be reviewed. The Army Ground Forces was instructed to consult with 
the Army Air Forces and the Services of Supply. The Army Air Forces was 
concerned because observation aviation was organic at this time in both army 
and corps; the Services of Supply, because it shared the responsibility at this 
time for service units assigned to the Army Ground Forces. The idea of separate 
air conmiand had already developed to the point where organic assignment 
of air units to ground commands in practice was not contemplated. In October 
1942 the Services of Supply was to lose its authority over die organization, 
equipment, and training of service units operating within corps and armies. 
Hence army and corps organization soon became a problem to be dealt with 
by the Army Ground Forces alone, subject to War Department approval. 

The Army Ground Forces on 21 September 1942 proposed that the concept 
of the type army and type corps be abandoned.* General McNair believed that 
the type army and corps, though avowedly used only for planning, set up false 
preconceptions with regard to tactics and logistical operations. It was under- 
stood that an army or corps in combat would contain such forces as were deemed 
necessary in the immediate situation. General McNair believed that the same 
flexibility should govern planning and training, especially with the Army facing 
operations in widely different theaters still unknown. He cited German tactical 
organization, by which task forces could be formed at will from standard parts. 
He feared that, just as manpower and equipment might be wasted by organic 

*WD memo WDGCT 320.2 (T/O) (7-31-42) for CGs AAF» AGF, SOS, 31 Jul 42, sub: Revision of 
Type Army Corps and Army Troops. 320.2/5816. 

* AGF memo for G-3 WD, 21 Sep 42, sub as above. 320.2/5816. 



354 ORGANIZATION OF GROUND COMBAT TROOPS 

TABLE NO. 4 

Composition of the "Type*' Army and '*Type'' Corps, 3/ July ig^ 



BRANCH 


TYPP AUMY 
/■MOM ^OPP«^ 


TYPE CORPS 




Corps **B" 






rio Divisions 


3 Inf Divs 


3 Inf Divs 


3 lof Divs 


Antiaircraft 


1 Brig 


1 Regt 


1 Regt 


1 Regt 


Armored 


None 


None 


None 


None 


Cavalry 


Noae 


I Regt, Mecz 


1 Regt, Mec2 


1 Regt, Mecz 


Chemical 


I Maint Co 


None 


None 


None 




1 Depot Co 










1 Impreg Co 










1 Lab Co 










3 Decoa Cos 








£a^aeer9 


3 Gen Serv Regis 


2 Combat Regts 


2 Combat Regts 


2 Combat Regts 




6 Bns Sep 


1 Top Co, Corps 


I Top Co, Corps 


1 Top Co, Corps 




I Depot Co 










1 Top Bn 










1 Water Supply Bo 










4 Lt Pont Cos 










2 Dump Truck. Cos 










1 Cam Bn 










1 Maint Co 










2 Hv Pont Bns 








Field Artillery 


None 


I Brig 


I Brig 


1 Brig 


Io£a.ntry 


None 


Noae 


None 


None 


Medical 


3 Medical Regts 


1 Medical Bn 


1 Medical Bn 


1 Medical Bo 




1 Vet Co Sep 










4 Surg Hosps 










10 Erac Hosps 










1 Conv Hosp 










1 Lab 










1 Supply Depot 








Military Police 


1 MP Bn 


I MP Co 


I MP Co 


1 MP^Co 


Ordnance 


2 Am Bns 


1 Maint Bn 


1 Maint fin 


1 Maint Bn 




1 Maint Bn 








Quartermaster 


3 MM Bns 


2 Trk Cos 


2 Trk Cos 


2 Trk Cos 




1 MT Supply Co 


1 MM Co 


I MM Co 


1 MM Co 




1 Trk Regt 


1 Gas Supply Co 


1 Gas Supply Co 


1 Gas Supply Co 




6 Serv Bns 


1 Serv Co 


1 Serv Co 


1 Serv Co 




1 Gas Sup Co 










1 Car Co 










1 Ster Bn 










1 Depot Co 








Signal 


1 Const Bn 


1 Sig Bo 


1 Sig Bn 


L Sig fin 




I Photo Co 










I Pigeon Co 










1 Rad Intell Co 










1 Opn Bn 










1 Depot Co 








Tank Destroyer 


3 TD Bns 


1 TDGp 


1 TDGp 


I TDGp 






(5 Bns) 


(5 Bns) 


(5 Bns) 


Aviation 


1 Obsn Gp 


4 Obsn Sqds 


4 Obsa Sqds 


4 Obsn Sqds 



Sourctt Memo WDGCT 320.2 (T/O) to AGF, AAF, SOS, Sub: Revision of Type Army Corps 
and Army Troops, 31 Jul 19^2. In 320.2/5816. 



REORGANIZATION FOR COMBAT 



355 



assignment to divisions, so they might also be wasted by organic assignment to 
a type corps or a type army. He wished to have no elements frozen, by faulty 
organization, in places where maximum employment was not possible. Given 
the limitations on shipping, and the heavy requirements of the Army Air Forces 
and the Services of Supply for ship space, he wished every unit sent overseas by 
the Army Ground Forces to be readily available for use at the decisive spot. 

The organization advanced by the Army Ground Forces did away with 
organic army troops and corps troops and made all nondivisional units organ- 
ically GHQ Reserve. Army and corps retained no organic elements except those 
necessary for command — chiefly headquarters and signal units. Troops were 
organized in interchangeable parts, in permanent units of the smallest size com- 
patible with efficiency. For combat units this was judged to be the battalion. 
From the mass of battalions, all organically GHQ Reserve, forces would be 
assigned or attached to armies and corps as needed. There would be two kinds 
of permanent T/O units — divisions and separate battalions. A corps would be a 
variable combination of divisions and battalions; an army, a combination of 
corps with additional battalions and perhaps divisions. The brigade disappeared 
as a fixed nondivisional unit, as it had already disappeared from the division. 
The fixed regiment likewise ceased to exist as a nondivisional unit; it was soon 
to disappear from the armored division as well, and remain, in general, as an 
echelon known only to infantry, mainly in infantry divisions. In its place was 
put the group. 

This plan, before its submission to the War Department on 21 September 
1942, was strongly advised against by some officers of General McNair^s staff.^ 
They held that team training would suffer if units were so highly interchange- 
able; that, with so much basic equipment removed from the division by stream- 
lining, a definite and fixed corps pool was necessary as a form of insurance; 
and that confusion would result from such radical departure, during mobiliza- 
tion, from the organization, functions, and nomenclature made familiar in the 
years of peace. They argued that in the planning of balanced forces planners. 
must have in mind, whether consciously or not, some large-scale "type" organ- 
ization; and that with so many persons involved in planning there must be 
some pattern generally understood and agreed upon. These arguments, though 
recognized as cogent, were outweighed in General McNair's judgment by the 
economy and flexibility obtainable under the system proposed. 



'Sec the staff studies and M/S in 320.2/5816 and in AGF Plans Sec file 95, 320.2/1 1 1. 



356 



ORGANIZATION OF GROUND COMBAT TROOPS 



The proposal of 2i September was returned without action by the War De- 
partment.® OPD stressed the arguments against it/ General McNair was unwill- 
ing to push the matter at this time, although, as he said, the existing organization 
had never been tested in war or peace, and the need of economizing in organiza- 
tion and equipment had been repeatedly stated by the Chief of Staff.^ Indeed, at 
this very time the War Department dispatched a letter to all overseas com- 
manders urging economy upon them. It was here affirmed that a wasteful service 
organization had resulted in some overseas establishments from use of the type 
army and corps (and type air force and communications zone) in the planning 
of overseas forces.' 

Although never approved formally and explicitly as a whole, the system 
as outlined above went into effect piecemeal during 1943. 

The Battalion-and-Group System 

One feature of the AGF proposal of 21 September 1942 was immediately 
approved. The War Department on 24 December 1942 granted permission to 
convert nondivisional regiments in antiaircraft artillery, field artillery, mech- 
anized cavalry, and combat engineers to separate battalions, and to activate 
group headquarters in each of these arms in a ratio of one to each four battalions,^** 
The group was a form of organization already employed with certain newer 
weapons, notably tank and tank destroyers. It differed from the regiment in that 
component battalions were self-sufficient for supply and administration (in the 
manner described above for battalions of the reorganized armored division), and 
that the battalions were not assigned organically to the group, but attached to 
and detached from it as circumstances dictated. The group was not a T/O unit. 
It might contain, at a given moment, no battalions or a half-dozen battalions, 
though three or four were considered normal. Group headquarters were sup- 

* WD memo WDGCT 320 (12-17-42) for CG AGF, 24 Dec 42, sub: Reorgn o£ Units o£ the Army. 
320.2/5816. 

^WD memo OPD 320.2 (9-21-42) for G-3 WD, 16 Nov 42, sub: Revision of Type Corps & Army 
Troops. 320.2/5816. 

' (0 AGF M/S, CG to DCofS, 3 Dec 42, sub as in note 7. (2) AGF M/S, DCofS to G-3, 31 Dec 42, 
sub: Reorgn of Units o£ the Army. Both in 320.2/5816. 

* WD Itr (C) AG 320.2 (12-^-42) OB-S-D-M to theater comdrs, 10 Dec 42, sub: Economy of Forces. 
320.2/233 (C). 

See foomote 6 above. 



REORGANIZATION FOR COMBAT 



357 



posed to avoid administration, to be tactical only, to control battalions in combat, 
and to supervise their training. Battalions in principle dealt directly with army 
on administrative matters and brought their own supplies from army supply 
points. 

The conversions authorized by the War Department on 24 December 1942 
were gradually effected in 1943. They involved not merely the dissolution of 
regiments but also the internal reorganization of battalions to provide adminis- 
trative self-sufficiency. With antiaircraft artillery, field artillery, cavalry, and 
combat engineers converted, and tanks and tank destroyers already so organized, 
the result was to place all nondivisional units of the combat arms except infantry 
on the flexible battalion-and-group system. Since very little infantry was non- 
divisional the exception was minor. Nor was the further exception of coast artil- 
lery significant* The same principles, as explained above, were applied within 
the armored division." 

Service units were similarly reorganized. On 29 December 1942 General 
Marshall informally expressed the opinion that the organization of service troops 
was wasteful," He noted that large organic units, such as the regiment, were satis- 
factory for large missions, but that there was no economical means of sending 
small units on small missions, for example to island bases, and no means, except 
through excessive headquarters overhead, of controlling numerous small service 
units of diverse types. "It seems to me," he wrote, "that we should have these 
service units so set up that we can put together composite battalions, composite 
regiments and composite brigades." The system proposed by the Army Ground 
Forces on the preceding 21 September had been designed to provide the flexi- 
bility desired by General Marshall. In addition, in connection with ordnance 
units, the Army Ground Forces had recently proposed that a battalion head- 
quarters be created for control of variable numbers of ordnance companies of 
dissimilar types such as heavy maintenance, evacuation, and depot. Such a bat- 
talion was in effect a "group" of companies. General McNair recommended that 
this scheme be generalized to meet the problem raised by General Marshall." 

During 1943 the regiment virtually disappeared from the organization of 
service troops. Truck regiments formerly organic in the type army were 

" AGF Itr 35 (R), 20 Jan 43, sub: Orgn St Asgmt of Gp Hq and Bns. 320.2/165 (R). 

" Memo of Gen Marshall for Gens McNair, Somervell, Edwards, 29 Dec 42, sub not given, 320.2/5773. 

" See unused draft and AGF memo to CofS USA, 5 Jan 43, sub: Orgn of Serv Trs. 320.2/5773. 



358 



ORGANIZATION OF GROUND COMBAT TROOPS 



broken up into administratively self-sufficient separate battalions. Medical 
regiments formerly organic in the type army were broken up into administra- 
tively self-sufficient companies of various types such as collecting, clearing, and 
depot. Quartermaster and ordnance troops, and some engineer and signal 
troops, were likewise organized in separate companies. In general, in the serv- 
ices the company became the basic T/0 unit, as was the battalion in the arms. 
For command over several companies, within the same service though of dif- 
ferent types if desired, battalion headquarters and headquarters detachments 
were created to which companies could be attached as needed. There were 
thus two kinds of nondivisional battalions: fluid battalions for ordnance, quar- 
termaster, and medical troops; fixed battalions for combat troops and for cer- 
tain kinds of medical, signal, engineer, and military police units. For com- 
mand over several battalions of either type, group headquarters were provided 
in all arms and services of the Ground Forces except chemical,^ military police, 
and signal, in which so large a massing by branch was considered unnecessary, 
and except in the infantry, where the regiment survived to perform this 
function." 

For command over several groups it was the intention of the Army Ground 
Forces to provide brigade headquarters. The old T/O brigade, with an organic 
component of regiments, found in antiaircraft artillery, field artillery, and cav- 
alry, was abolished. The troops of these brigades were reorganized in self- 
sustaining battalions and squadrons. The new brigade, like the group, was or- 
ganically only a headquarters and headquarters company, to which subordinate 
units could be flexibly attached. It was expected that such brigades could be 
formed in any arm or service in which a demand for so large a single-branch 
organization might arise. In fact, the Army Ground Forces organized brigades 
on the new plan only for antiaircraft, field artillery, and tank destroyer units. 
One infantry airborne brigade was also created. Actually only one tank destroyer 
brigade went overseas; field artillery brigades were not needed in quantity 
because groups were attached directly to corps artillery headquarters; and 
brigades became common only in the antiaircraft artillery, in which their 
number declined as antiaircraft battalions were inactivated.*** 

"The system was formally explained, in answer to a request by G-4 WD, in AGF memo for G-4 WD, 
25 May 43, subr Comd for Nondiv Units. 320,2/6009. See also the AGF Itrs to the field on the use of service 
units of each branch: (i) 30 Mar 43, sub: Ord Serv in the Fid, AGF. 321/74 (Ord), (2) 8 Oct 43, sub: Engr 
Scrv in the Fid, AGF. 321/212 (Engr) (R). (3) 14 Oct 43, sub: Sig Orgn. 321/786 (Sig). (4) 16 Oct 43, 
sub: QM Serv in the Fid. 321/266 (QM) (R). (5) 22 Oct 43, sub: Med Orgn. 321/766 (Med).' 

" Annex IX to AGF Itr (R) to CGs, 21 Jul 43, sub: Orientation with Ref to Revised Orgn. 320,2/242 (R). 



REORGANIZATION FOR COMBAT 



359 



The breaking up of nondivisional forces into T/0 battalions or companies, 
held together in temporary non-T/0 combinations under flexible group and 
brigade command, or under flexible battalion command in the case of the serv- 
ice companies, in effect produced the revolution of organic army troops and 
corps troops which the Army Ground Forces had originally proposied. If there 
was no such thing as an organically constituted regiment or brigade, there could 
hardly be, within reason, an organically constituted corps or army. The prin- 
ciple of flexibility had prevailed. 

Higher Headquarters 

One of General McNair's principal goals was to hold down the size of head- 
quarters staffs. Substitution of the group for the regiment, with the group head- 
quarters handling four battalions and passing administrative matters on to army, 
was intended to economize headquarters overhead. The same objective was 
aimed at in elimination of the regiment from the armored division, in the 
general cutting of division staffs by the Reduction Board, and in the paring of 
headquarters companies at all levels. 

General McNair's reasons for cutting all staffs applied especially to the 
staffs of higher headquarters — those of armies and corps. One reason was to 
conserve manpower, the other to speed up operations. Higher staffs tended to 
absorb large numbers of the most experienced officers. By 1943 only one officer 
in fifty was a professional soldier. "I wish we could give green divisions more 
experienced officers," General McNair wrote to General Patton, "but they are 
just not available. One primary reason — almost the only one — ^is the great mass 
of Regular Army officers who are serving in the unimaginable array of com- 
mand echelons with their staggering large staffs," " Moreover, large staffs, in 
General McNair's opinion, produced a mass of paper work, liaison, and unnec- 
essary coordination which threatened to block the very rapidity of action for 
which modern armies were physically equipped. "Operations cannot possibly 
be swift and effective if staffs are large and clumsy. Lack of staff training and 
fitness cannot be compensated for by increasing size." " General McNair limited 
his own staff to about 250 commissioned officers, in a headquarters controlling 
at the maximum some two million troops. 

'* Personal Itr (S) Gen McNair to Gen Patton, 23 Oct 43. McNair Correspondence (S) . 

" AGF Itr (R) to CGs, 21 Jul 43, sub: Orientation with Re£ to Revised Orgn. 320.2/242 (R). 



360 



ORGANIZATION OF GROUND COMBAT TROOPS 



One method by which he hoped to reduce army and corps headquarters 
was to combine staff and command positions in the manner well established in 
the division artillery.^® Here the artillery commander was at the same time the 
artillery officer on the staff of the division commander. General McNair believed 
that special staffs could be gready reduced by general application of this plan. 
He held that if a corps, for example, had no tank destroyers attached to it, it 
needed no antitank section on the corps staff; if it did possess tank destroyers, 
then the senior commander of attached tank destroyer units (probably a colonel 
commanding a group) was better qualified than anyone else to act as staff 
adviser to the corps commander on antitank matters. Similarly, at the army 
level, the brigadier general commanding the antiaircraft brigade, if the army 
possessed one, and the brigade or group commander in every other arm and 
service represented among army troops, would be the special staff officer for 
matters of his branch. But because the duties of certain officers were multiplied 
to a point considered impracticable by some, with consequent doubt as to 
whether real economy would result, the plan met with resistance both in the 
War Department and in the field and was not systematically followed in 
practice. 

Another means of economizing staffs was to limit their work to strictly 
defined essentials. General McNair wished the corps to be a combat unit only, 
with administrative activities concentrated in army. He held down his own staff 
by leaving a maximum of administrative work to the War Department. 

But the more the principle of flexible organization of army and corps troops 
was adopted the heavier was the work load imposed on army and corps head- 
quarters. These headquarters, under combat conditions, carried the major re- 
sponsibility for shifting separate battalions and companies about, combining and 
recombining them in temporary formations, attaching them to divisions, detach- 
ing and attaching them elsewhere, determining where they could best be used, 
ordering their movement, and keeping the record of their whereabouts and 
availability at all times. With nondivisional units dissolved organically into bat- 

"Scc draft written by General McNair for directive of 21 Jul 1943, sub: Orientation with Reference to 
Revised Orgn, par beginning, *The revised organization places command above staff." This paragraph did 
not appear in the directive, because the principle involved was not fully enough accepted by the War 
Department to justify its inclusion. Draft in 322/1 (Corps) (R). Sec also (i) AGF memo (C) for G-3 WD, 
13 Apr 43, sub: A/T Pers. 321/6 (TD) (C), (2) AGF M/S (S), G-3 to CofS, 20 Apr 43, sub: A/T Sec for 
Div Corps and Army Hq. 320.2/23 (NATO) (S). (3) AGF M/S, CG to G-3, 7 Sep 42, sub: Revision of 
Type Army Corps and Army Trs. 320.2/5816. 



REORGANIZATION FOR COMBAT 



361 



talions and companies, under lieutenant colonels and captains (in contrast to the 
division with its major general), and with the intermediate group and brigade 
headquarters exercising no administrative functions, a great deal of assistance 
and control of many small units by army and corps headquarters was required, 

TABLE NO, 5 



Evolution of Corps Headquarters, 79^2-^5 



ITEM 


1 JUL 


29 MAR 


15 JUL 


27 DEC 


19 JAN 








A'X 


A^ 

4 J 


Headquarters, Corps: 












Commissioned Officers: 












Commandiag General 


3 


3 


3 


3 


3 


General Staff 


20 


16 


21 


26 


29 


Adjutant General 


4 


3 


3 


4 


4 


Antiaircraft 


3 










Artillery 


8 










Chaplain 


3 


2 


2 


2 


2 


Chemical 


2 


2 


2 


2 


2 


Engineer 


6 


3 


3 


4 


4 


Finance 


2 


2 


2 


2 


2 


Inspector General 


4 


1 


2 


3 


3 


Judge Advocate 


1 


1 


1 


2 


2 


Medical 


5 


2 


3 


4 


4 


Ordnance 


2 


4 


4 


5 


5 


Quartermaster 


6 


2 


2 


4 


4 


Signal 


3 




3 


4 


4 


Special Service 




2 


2 


2 


1 


Total Commissioned 


72 


43 


53 


67 


69 


Warrant Officers 


12 


5 


5 


7 


7 


Enlisted Men 


150 


88 


93 


106 


109 


Total Headquarters, Corps 


234 


136 


151 


180 


♦ 185 


Headquarters Company, Corps 


137 


96 


96 


98 


95 


Headquarters & Headquarters Co 


371 


232 


247 


278 


280 



Source: T/0*s 100-1 and 100-2 

♦ Augmentation of 14 officers, 1 warrant officer, 17 enlisted men provided in T/O when 
authorized by theater commander. 



362 



ORGANIZATION OF GROUND COMBAT TROOPS 



It was therefore difiEcult to reduce higher headquarters as much as General 
McNair desired. 

In view of the difficulties the Table of Organization for army headquarters 
was not materially modified in 1943. Corps headquarters was drastically reduced 
by th e Army Grou nd Forces in March 1943, though the reductions did not last.^® 
(See Table No."5!| ) The principle adopted was that the corps consisted essentially 
of its commander and a small headquarters, with an organic headquarters com- 
pany, an organic signal battalion, and an organic headquarters and headquarters 
battery for the corps artillery, which in turn possessed organically only a field 
artillery observation battalion. Thus the means of corps command were organic; 
troops would be put in and taken out according to the shifting needs of combat. 
The brigadier general commanding the corps artillery and the colonel command- 
ing the corps signal battalion would function as corps staff officers; hence the 
artillery and signal sections of the old headquarters were dropped. The anti- 
aircraft section was dropped also, the commanding officer of corps antiaircraft 
troops (if any) being expected to discharge staff duties. Staff advice on armored, 
tank destroyer, or other matters pertaining to a single arm would be procured 
in the same way. Since the corps was intended to be tactical only, the staff sec- 
tions fo r technical and administrative services were reduced. Column i of Table 



No. 5 shows the corps headquarters of 1942; column 2, the reductions desired 
by the Army Ground Forces in March 1943; column 3, the less drastic reductions 
approved by the War Department and incorporated in a Table of Organization 
in July 1943. Corps in the Army Ground Forces were reorganized according to 
this table in August. They received an augmentation for training since it was 
believed by the Army Ground Forces that corps in training carried a greater 
burden of inspection and supervision than they should carry in combat. Protests 
against the new table were received from the theaters. General McNair was ac- 
cused of proposing for overseas use a smaller corps headquarters than he would 
himself use in training. The War Department ordered an upward revision of the 
table, with results shown in column 4.^ 



"AGF memo for G-3 WD, 20 Mar 43, sub: T/O&E Corps. 320.2/5983, and published T/O loo-i, 
29 Mar 43. 

*• (i) AGF memo (C) for OPD, 10 Aug 43 » sub: Rcorgn of Corps Hq and Organic Trs. 320.2/247 (C). 
(2) WD memo (R) WDGCT 320.3 (i Oct 43) for CG AGF, 5 Oct 43» sub: T/O&E's for Corps. 322/4 
(0)rps) (R>. (3) Personal memo (S) of Gen McNarncy for Gen McNair, 17 Dpc 43, sub: T/0*s for Type 
Corps Hq. McNair Correspondence (S). 



REORGANIZATION FOR COMBAT 



Before submitting the revisions called for, General McNair wrote to the 
War Department on 15 October 1943 : ^ 

The present strength can be increased to any figure desired by the War Department, 
This headquarters is opposed to such increase. 

The overhead o£ headquarters in this war is viewed as staggering. We have the 
advantage of the most modern equipment in conununications and transportation, which 
should operate to reduce overhead but actually is operating to increase overhead instead. 
General Bradley stated to me recently that the present corps headquarters was too small 
because he required each of his staff sections to visit the troops daily. Thus he was demanding 
in substance a double corps headquarters. General Fredcndall stated that the present corps 
headquarters is more than adequate. General Patch expressed the same view. . . . The last 
two commanders voiced the view that large corps headquarters not only were unnecessary 
but would hinder mobile active operations. I concur in such views. 

If commanders are allowed to indicate their own needs, experience has shown repeatedly 
and almost invariably that there will be no end to the increases demanded. Headquarters 
will go on increasing so long as this policy is followed. The results are apparent in our 
theaters all over the world. 

The reply of G-3, WDGS, made no comment on these remarks. The corps, as 
again reorganized, was about as large in commissioned strength as in 1942* 

Theory of Army and Corps 

The division, the largest T/O unit, was the largest unit shipped to the 
theaters in the form in which it was made up in the United States, Armies and 
corps were not shipped as such. What was shipped were the elements — divisions, 
separate battalions and companies, group headquarters, corps headquarters, 
and army headquarters. Overseas commanders made up their armies and corps 
from these elements as they chose. Armies and corps (also groups) were simply 
so many containers, between which the actual contents of the Army— T/O 
divisions, battalions, and companies — were passed back and forth at will. Units 
were taken out of containers in the United States, shipped overseas, and put 
into new containers on arriving in the theater. Armies and corps were shipped 
separately. 

With a few exceptions, all the armies and corps were supplied by the Army 
Ground Forces. The Fifth, Sixth, and Seventh Armies were activated overseas. 

*^Mcmo (R) of Gen McNair for G-3 WD, 15 Ctet 43. sub: T/0&E*s for Corps. 322/4 (Corps) (R). 



364 



ORGANIZATION OF GROUND COMBAT TROOPS 



So too were all army groups and the First Allied Airborne Army. The First 
Army went to Europe directly from the Eastern Defense Command, never 
having been under the commanding general of the Army Ground Forces. 
These were the only exceptions. All corps were trained by the Army Ground 
Forces or its predecessor, GHQ, and all those activated after 9 March 1942 were 
activated by the Army Ground Forces. By 1945 there were twenty-four corps, 
of which only one remained in the United States. 

On the matter of armies General McNair proceeded slowly. He rejected 
advice of his staff, in 1942, to activate additional armies under his own com- 
mand .^^ Using the principle of flexibility to its utmost, he employed only the 
Second and Third Armies (and four independent corps) even when troops 
under his command reached their maximum, in August 1943, of sixty-seven 
divisions with corresponding nondivisional units. For a short time at the end 
of 1943 the Second, Third, and Fourth Armies were in the Army Ground 
Forces. The Third (that is, its headquarters) then proceeded overseas. No 
new armies were activated by the Army Ground Forces until 1944, when the 
Eighth, Ninth, Tenth, and Fifteenth Armies were activated and shipped in 
quick succession. Meanwhile the Second and Fourth Armies remained in the 
United States in the Army Ground Forces. The identity of these armies persisted 
in name only, for it was largely their headquarters personnel, trained in army 
functions, which went overseas under new army designations. By January 
1945 not a single division was left in the Second and Fourth Armies, which, 
virtually exhausted of troops of every kind, remained as empty containers await- 
ing the return of units to the United States. 

The Army Ground Forces, though it shipped no armies or corps as such, 
nevertheless largely determined the form taken by armies and corps in the the- 
aters. Theater commanders could build armies and corps as they pleased, but 
they worked with prefabricated materials. Every unit, whether troop unit or 
headquarters unit, was shaped by its T/O&E to perform certain functions and 
stand in a certain relation to other units, and it was for these 'functions and 
these relations that its personnel were trained in the United States, 

The idea insisted upon by General McNair was that the army was both a 
combat and an adrninistrative agency, the corps a combat agency only, unless 
operating independently, in which case it should be reinforced to function as a 

" AGF M/S (S) DCofS to G-i, G-3, G-4, 28 Oct 42, sub: Revision of AGF Orgn. AGF Plans Sec file 
132 (S). 



REORGANIZATION FOR COMBAT 



365 



small artny.^^ In administration and supply the army was intended to bypass 
the corps and, to a certain extent, the division. For supply of food, fuel, and 
ammunition, in the words of an AGF directive already quoted, "division and 
corps are not in the channel of supply, except in emergencies," ^* Nondivisional 
battalions and separate companies, and the regiments and battalions within 
divisions, were provided with supply machinery expected to mesh directly with 
that of army. Army was to push forward supply points to positions accessible 
to the trucks of small using units. Army personnel sorted supplies into unit lots 
and loaded the trucks arriving at supply points. To enable army to discharge 
this role the Troop Basis included a great mass of units for assignment to armies 
or independent corps as needed — quartermaster truck, railhead and gasoline 
supply companies, ordnance ammunition companies, and depot companies of 
the several services. Similarly, army provided third-echelon maintenance for 
both divisions and nondivisional units, a function for which a mass of ordnance 
maintenance, engineer maintenance, chemical maintenance, and signal repair 
companies were provided. Army likewise evacuated disabled or captured equip- 
ment, provided hospitals, and furnished reinforcing medical collecting and 
clearing companies for units whose needs exceeded their organic means. Facil- 
ities for major undertakings in bridge building, water supply, map making, 
photography, and other functions were likewise provided in engineer and sig- 
nal units assigned to army. 

The corps was conceived as consisting essentially of a commander and a 
handful of staff officers who gave unity of direction and continuity of purpose 
to a mass of units in combat, however much the individual units might be used 
up, exchanged^ or replaced. All combat units in an army, except those in army 
reserve, were intended to be passed on to the several corps, shifting from one 
corps to another at the discretion of the army commander. Corps operated the 
pools of nondivisional combat units — corps artillery, cavalry squadrons, engi- 
neers, tanks, tank destroyers, chemical battalions, etc. — distributing them to di- 
visions by attachment, using them to support a division most in need, assem- 
bling them for mass action, or holding them in reserve. With the divisions lack- 
ing many weapons organically, and held down by T/O's to the minimum re- 
quired for "normal" operations, the corps became the key headquarters for 
employing all combat elements in proper tactical combinations. 

° AGF Itr (R) to CGs, 21 Jul 43, sub: Orientation with Reference to Revised Orgn. 320.2/6031 (R). 
" AGF Itr (R), 8 Oct 43» sub: Engr Serv in the Fid. 321/212 (Engr) (R). 



TABLE NO. 6 
Composition of the Third Army, i October 1^42 



{Illustrative of Army and Corps Organization in the Army Ground Forces) 



BRANCH 


ARMY TROOPS 


CORPS IN THIRD ARMY 


(NON-CORPS) 


IV Corps 


VIII Corps 


X Corps 


Antiaircraft 


2 Infantry Divisions 
1 Cavalry Division 


6 Infantry Dirislons 


2 Infantry Divisions 
1 Motorized 
Division 


4 Infantry Divisions 


Armored 










Cavalry 


1 Bris 
1 Rest 


1 Regt, Mecz 


1 Regt, Mecz 




Chemical 


3 Chemical Bns 

7 Decontaminating Cos 

2 Depot Cos 

3 Maintenance Cos 








Engineers 


7 Gen Serv Regts 
1 Water Supply Bo 

1 Camouflage Bn 

2 Hv Pont Bns 

1 Bn Sep 

2 Lt Pont Bns 
1 Dep Trk Co 
5 Dep Cos 

3 Maint Cos 

1 Top Co» Corps 


t Top Co, Corps 


2 Combat Regts 
1 Top Co, Corps 


2 Combat Regts 
I Top Co, Corps 


Field Artillery 


1 Brjt, including 

1 155-mm 
Gun Regt 

2 199-mm 
How Regts 

1 15SmmHowRegt 
1 t05-mm How Regt 
4 105-mmHow Bns 


1 Brig, including 

1 155-mm 
Gun Regt 

2 l}5-mffl 
How Regts 

lEAObsn Bn 


1 Brig, including 

1 155-mm 
Gun Regt 

2 159'mm 
How Regts 

1 FA Obsn Bn 


t Brig, including 

1 155-mm 
Gun Regt 

2 155-mm 
Mow Regts 


Infantry 










Medical 


4 Medical Regts 
1 Medical Bn 
1 Amb Bn 
t Gas Treat Bn 

1 Conv Hosp 

1 1 Evac Hosps, Ma 

2 Evac Hosps 

1 Vet Evac Hosp 
1 Vet Gen Hosp 
I Vet Co Sep 
8 Labs 

4 Supply Depots 
t Gen Disp 
1 Aux Surg Grp 


1 Medical Bn 


1 Medical Bn 




Military Police 


1 MP fin 
I MP Co 


1 MP Co 


1 MP Co 


1 MP Co 



TABLE NO. S-^Continued 



BRANCH 



Otd Dance 



Quartermaster 



Sisaal 



Tank Destroyer 
Miscellaneous 



ARMY TROOPS 
(NON-CORPS) 



17 Ht Maint Cos 
4 Hv MaiDt Cos 
(Field Army) 

4 Med Maine Bns 
3 Med Maint Cos 

5 Mot Transp Cos 

3 Mot Transp Sup Cos 
2 Am Cos 

2 Dep Cos 

3 Serr Bns 

1 Stet Bn 
14 Trk Cos 

2 Car Cos 

6 Ldry Cos 

7 Bkry Cos 

2 Remount Trps 

1 Graves Recis Co 

2 Sales Cos 

4 RaUhead Cos 

1 Refrig Co (Fixed) 
1 Salv Repr Co 

4 Salv Coll Cos 

3 Dep Cos 

1 Stff Bn 

1 Const Bn 

2 Opm Cos 
2 Const Cos 

1 Rad Int Co 

2 Repr Cos 

3 Dep Cos 

1 Pigeon Co 

1 Phot Lab GHQ 

2 Group Hq 
22 Bns 

10 ABS Bns 
1 MRU (Mob) 

5 Hq & Hq Det Sp Trps 



CORPS IN THIRD ARMY 



IV Corps 



1 Maint Bn 



1 Serr Co 



1 Sig Bn 



1 MRU (Mob) 



VIII Corps 



1 Maint Bn 



1 Serr Co 

1 Gas Sup Bn 

2 Trk Cos 



I MRU (Mob) 



X Corps 



1 Maint Bn 



1 Serr Co 
1 Trk Co 



1 Sig Bn 



1 MRU (Mob) 



SomrcK 320.2 Assigomeot Lists (R). 



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it 



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ll 







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I I 



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& 3 o o 



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on 



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o 

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11 



o 

= 8 



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3 I 




I 



9 5 



I 



370 



ORGANIZATION OF GROUND COMBAT TROOPS 



With all corps made flexible and the type corps abolished, the armored 
corps became an unnecessary special unit. General McNair in 1943 assigned 
armored divisions, as they completed their training under the Armored Force, 
to ordinary army corps as well as to armored corps, in order that all higher com- 
manders might gain experience with armor. At the same time the abolition of 
the motorized division, designed for use in an armored corps, and the concen- 
tration of service functions in army, including the servicing of armor, deprived 
the armored corps of its specific functions. As a result, although four armored 
corps had been activated, they were not very different from ordinary army 
corps. The armored corps was abolished as a special unit in August 1943." 
Under the flexible system, any corps could be made into an armored corps by 
assignment of officers experienced in armor to its headquarters, and by assign- 
ment of armored divisions, truck companies to motorize its infantry divisions, 
and other suitable units. It was believed that services necessary to armored and 
fast-moving forces — gasoline supply, bridging, and maintenance — could be 
moved forward by army with sufficient speed. 

The Army Ground Forces, to obtain tiae structure in training which was 
intended to be used in combat, carried out a general reorganization of its army 
and corps troops in 1943, at which time the great bulk of combat units and 
close-support services was under AGF command. In 1942 the headquarters of 
the Army Ground Forces had assigned some units, but merely attached others, 
to its subordinate armies and corps. Assigned units had generally been those 
organic in the type organizations. Beginning in January 1943 the Army Ground 
Forces assigned all units to its subordinate commands, which in turn might 
attach them to their own subordinate echelons.^ Virtually all nondivisional 
service imits were assigned by the Army Ground Forces to armies and separate 
corps, virtually all combat units to corps. The ordnance battalion and the med- 
ical battalion formerly assigned to corps disappeared. Their places were taken 
by self-sustaining ordnance and medical companies, grouped in flexible bat- 
talions and assigned to armies (or separate corps). Reassignment became general 
in August 1943. At this time a mass of new T/O&E's was published, consum- 
mating the work of the Reduction Board, and reshaping units in the light of 

" (i) Staff studies in 310.2/16 (Armd F) (S). (2) AGF memo (C) (with related papers) for G-3 WD, 
17 Aug 43, sub: Redesignation of Armd Corps. 320.2/247 (C). 

"AGF Itr (R) to CGs, 16 Jan 43, sub: Asgmt and Attachment of Units. 320.2/167 (R). 



REORGANIZATION FOR COMBAT 



37^ 



their intended position within armies and corps. At one sweep, as of midnight 
8-9 August, about 200 nondivisional combat units were reassigned from armies 
to corps. Corps commanders were instructed not to attach these units to divisions 
except for specified periods for combined training, but to hold them in corps 

pools. 

Effects of army and corps reorganization are illustrated in Tables |Nos. 4,' ^ 
\6} and[^ which show, first, the type organizations of 1942, second, tlic actual 
composition of the Third Army as of i October 1942, and, third, the composition 
of the Third Army as of 10 November 1943, after readjustments as described 
above had been made. Attention is called particularly to Table No. 7. The con- 
centration of service elements under army is evident, as is also the distribution 
of combat elements to corps. The use of brigade and group headquarters can 
be seen, as well as that of the flexible battalion for medical, ordnance, and 
quartermaster companies. The cavalry brigade and the mechanized cavalry 
and quartermaster regiments were survivals of the older organization, due for 
gradual elimination. The assignment of separate tank battalions to corps in 
significant numbers was at this date a new phenomenon: to the great detriment 
of combined infantry-tank training of smaller units, few such battalions had 
previously been available. The mixing of infantry and armored divisions in the 
same corps for combined training at higher levels can be noted. The fact that 
the XIX Corps had until recendy been the III Armored Corps is indicated by 
the presence in this corps of two armored divisions and of a treadway bridge 
company and two separate armored infantry battalions. It will be observed that 
the VIII Corps had virtually no troops whatsoever. This was because the VIII 
Corps had been alerted for overseas movement and was awaiting shipment as 
an empty container. 



" (i) AGF Itr (C) to CGs, 5 Aug 43, sub: Asgmt of Combat Units to Corps. 330,2/300 (C). (2) AGF 
Itr (R) to CGs, 29 Oct 43, sub: Asgmtof Combai-Typc Uniti. 320,2/267 (R). 



' Sec above, 



p. 354. 



VIIL Summary 



The principles underlying the new tactical organization, in all aspects of 
their application to armies, corps, divisions, and nondivisional units, were set 
forth in a letter on "Orientation with Reference to Revised Organization" which 
General McNair himself wrote and issued to his commanders on 21 July 
1943. No summary can take the place of this letter, the fullest statement on 
organization made by him during his command of the Army Ground Forces. 
Since it is indispensable to a thorough understanding of the subject, it is 
reproduced in its entirety at the end of this study. 

Reduction of unit personnel and equipment had many imphcations. It 
undoubtedly increased the combat power delivered per ton of shipping. It 
lightened the problem of supplying fuel, spare parts, and replacements of men 
and vehicles. Forces became more compact and maneuverable by loss of im- 
pedimenta. But operation at minimum levels naturally produced stresses and 
strains. Tables of Organization and Equipment received piecemeal augmenta- 
tions, the pendulum thus swinging again in the opposite direction. Fundamental 
tables (for example, those of the infantry and armored divisions) remained 
substantially unchanged until the end of the war in Europe. There were many 
cases, however, of augmentation by special allowance, outside the T/O&E's, but 
in effect enlarging the units. 

Application of the new organization in the theaters after 1943 brought new 
developments.^ In general, a reaction set in against the extreme emphasis on 
flexibility and economy. Nor did it prove possible to confine corps and group 
headquarters to tactical functions only. 

Great economies were accomplished by the Army Ground Forces in con- 
sumption of manpower. Because of reduction in division tables, the 89 divisions 
active in 1945 required only 70,000 more enlisted men than the 73 divisions 
active at the end of 1942. Sixteen divisions were thus obtained with an outlay 



* Sec below, 



'Reorganizing for Rcdeptoymcnt.' 



REORGANIZATION FOR COMBAT 



373 



of manpower which in 1942 would have produced less than five. In nondi visional 
field artillery the 142 battalions mobilized at the end of 1942 required almost 
exactly 100,000 enlisted men for themselves and their overhead of higher artillery 
command. In February 1945 the 329 mobilized battalions required only 182,000. 
Under the 1942 tables 182,000 men would have produced approximately 260 
battalions. Hence 69 battalions were gained without use of additional man- 
power.^ 

But it cannot be said that the economics achieved by General McNair were 
used as he preferred and intended, that is, to increase the number of ground 
combat units. In general, no more ground units, but in fact fewer, were mobilized 
under the reduced tables than had been set up for mobilization under the unre- 
duced tables. In June 1943, as the work of unit reduction neared its completion, 
more than 300,000 men were cancelled from the AGF Troop Basis 

Given conditions and expectations prevailing in the summef of 1943, it is 
probable that the total planned strength of ground forces would have been 
cut at that time whether AGF units were reduced or not. With still further cuts, 
and with the failure of expected restorations to materialize, the authorized 
strength of all AGF-type units on 31 March 1945 was approximately 1,000,000 
less than had been projected two years before. The fact that units were reduced 
in size meant that this loss in number of men did not produce a corresponding 
loss in number of units* This was of immeasurable importance, for certainly 
the total number of ground combat units finally mobilized was none too many. 
By producing a fighting army out of a shrinking stock of allotted manpower the 
most extreme policies of economy would seem to have been abundandy justified. 



' Calculations based on Troop Basis (S). 
•SecF 



"Ground Forces in the Army, December 1941-April 1945: a Statistical Study' 
I ot the Ground Army/'| in this volume* 



and "Mobilization 



AGF Letter on Revised Organization, 



Subject : Orientation with Reference to Revised Organization. 
TO : Commanding Generals, 



Second and Third Armies, 
IV and XIII Corps, 
II Armored Corps, 
Airborne Command, 
Antiaircraft Command, 
Armored Command, 
Desert Training Center, 
Replacement and School Command, 
Tank Destroyer Center. 



1. The following information and comments are transmitted by way of 
orientation in connection with pending revision of the organization of large 
units, 

2. The organization of combat and supporting service units is being revised 
extensively and necessary Tables of Organization and Tables of Equipment will 
be issued in near future. Sec paragraph 2, letter, Hq AGF, 320.2/185 (R) (3 Mar 
43) GNGCT, 3 March 1943, Subject: "Reorganization of Units under New 
Tables of Organization." The purposes of this revision may be stated generally as 
follows: 

a. To economize manpower, in order that the overall needs of armed 
forces, of industry, and of agriculture may be met in the maximum degree. 




HEADQUARTERS 
ARMY GROUND FORCES 
ARMY WAR COLLEGE 
WASHINGTON 25, D. C, 



320^/6031 (R) (21 Jul 43) GNGCT 



21 July 1943 



General 



REORGANIZATION FOR COMBAT 



375 



b. To permit available shipping to transport overseas a maximum of fight- 
ing power. 

c. To provide a more flexible organization, permitting full application of 
the principle of economy of force and massing of military might at the decisive 
point. 

d. To reduce headquarters and other overhead to speed up command. 
Command functions must keep pace with fast transportation and signal com- 
munication. 

r. To devote strength as fully as possible to elements which can be made 
effective offensively against the enemy and reduce those elements which are 
passively defensive. 

Organization of Large Units 

3. The army is a tactical and administrative imit. The revised organization 
contemplates that administrative functions be more extensive and complete 
than at present. In exercise of such administrative functions, the army should 
by-pass the corps in every way possible in order that the corps may devote itself 
so far as practicable to tactical and training functions. Corps currently in train- 
ing in the United States arc in general occupying themselves too much with 
administration. Army commanders must take the steps necessary to correct this 
condition. The reduced administrative procedure applied in some headquarters 
and headquarters detachments, special troops, could well be applied to corps. 
A separate corps will have a status similar to that of an army. 

4. a. The corps will consist essentially of a headquarters and head- 
quarters company, a signal battalion, headquarters and headquarters battery, 
corps artillery, and a field artillery observation battalion. Its functions will be 
primarily tactical. It will be reinforced according to the combat situation by 
divisions, groups of artillery, antiaircraft, tank battalions, tank destroyer bat- 
talions, engineer battalions, engineer companies, and reconnaissance squadrons. 
In combat, according to the situation, non-divisional units (except reconnaissance 
squadrons) may be put under division control In principle, they are passed on 
to divisions unless they may be employed effectively for more or less simulta- 
neous support of more than a single division. Grouping battalions for training 
provides essential supervision by higher commanders. Such training must not 
preclude close association of battalions, and perhaps groups, with divisions for 
combined training. However, permanent attachments of battalions to divisions 



376 



ORGANIZATION OF GROUND COMBAT TROOPS 



is undesirable since such action will prevent training in mass employment. See 
letter, Hq AGF, 353/2209 (i Apr 43) GNGCT, i April 1943, Subject: "Assign- 
ment and Training of Group Headquarters and Battalions of Tank, Tank 
Destroyer, and Antiaircraft Artillery." 

b. The artillery commander commands all reinforcing artillery received 
and not passed on to divisions and has the additional function of corps artillery 
officer. The corps artillery headquarters has a large staff. For training purposes, 
it will be advisable to use part of it to perform training functions of present corps 
artillery section, thereby permitting the artillery commander to devote his 
attention during training periods to considerable number of groups and separate 
battalions attached to the corps. In this way, the existing satisfactory organiza- 
tion for training may continue, (Sce | paragraph 12 , below.) 

5, Orders to reorganize infantry and armored divisions under new Tables 
of Organization and Equipment will issue at a later date. The following 
information is furnished on the new organizations. 

a. The motorized division as a distinct organization has been eliminated. 
An infantry division can be transported by the attachment of a troop transport 
battalion consisting of six truck companies. It follows that the training of all 
infantry divisions will include development of a Standard Operating Procedure 
for motor movement and the execution of such movements. 

b. The infantry division has been reduced in aggregate strength by ap- 
proximately 8 per cent and in fuel consuming motor vehicles by 14 per cent. 

c. The armored division will be reorgar.ized into two combat commands 
or groups of flexible composition of self-sustaining tank and armored infantry 
battalions. The organic total strength includes three tank battalions and three 
armored infantry battalions. The artillery strength remains at three battalions. 
The infantry and artillery strength of the division, in comparison with the tank 
strength, will be increased greatly. 

d. It is planned that all tank battalions with certain exceptions will be in- 
terchangeable — including those of armored divisions and of General Headquar- 
ters Reserve. The battalion will include three medium companies and one light 
company. Thus there will be a pool of tank battalions available for both support 
of the infantry and as replacement units of armored divisions. Similarly, a pool 
of armored infantry battalions is being organized so that replacement and re- 
inforcing infantry units will be available for armored divisions. Again the re- 
connaissance squadrons of armored divisions and separate reconnaissance 



REORGANIZATION FOR COMBAT 



377 



squadrons will be identical except for the number of reconnaissance troops, per- 
mitting interchange of such units as necessary. 

€. A new light division, suitable for amphibious, airborne, mountain and 
jungle operation is being tested. The aggregate strength of this light division is 
approximately 9,000 and its equipment varies with tfie type of operations in 
which it is to engage. There will be a minimum of transportation. The division 
will be on foot, with hand carts, except for those essential loads which cannot 
be transported in this manner. Such loads will be handled by pack animals or 
^-ton trucks. Approximately 400 men will be subtracted from strength of the 
division when motor transportation is used. 

/• The radio intelligence platoon is being removed from division signal 
companies because it is felt that such activities pertain more properly to the 
corps signal battalion, at least until equipment for such operation has been 
developed more fully, its capacities measured and operational needs determined 
more completely than at present. Trained traffic analysts have been provided 
in the corps signal battalion to evaluate information obtained by the radio in- 
telligence platoons. An effort is being made to reduce and simplify the set-up 
of signal equipment without sacrificing the essential effectiveness of signal 
operations. 

g. The division engineers will hold to a strength which some commanders 
may regard as too small. There is no lack of appreciation of the number of engi- 
neering functions or of the considerable overall strength of engineers needed. 
However, a division of whatever type is supposedly a mobile unit and nature 
and extent of engineer operations under such conditions necessarily must be 
limited. If and when operations do not move so rapidly, it is readily possible 
to introduce engineers from the corps and army, reinforcing or relieving the 
division engineers of functions which are beyond their capabilities. Bridge trains 
are excluded from division engineers because they are not needed under all 
conditions. The need of bridges can be foretold from maps, air photographs 
and ground reconnaissance and bridges can be provided by companies and 
battalions from the army. 

Comments on Organization 

6. Stafis are being revised downward. They are to be provided solely for 
combat needs. Operations cannot possibly be swift and effective if staffs are large 
and clumsy. Lack of staff training and fitness cannot be compensated for by 



378 



ORGANIZATION OF GROUND COMBAT TROOPS 



increasing size. The development of suitable Standard Operating Procedures 
lightens the burden of staffs and expedites operations. In general, field orders in 
maneuvers still are far too lengthy. The average formal mimeographed field 
order, prepared under conditions which would be impractical in service, can 
be replaced by messages of a few lines, expediting operations greatly and largely 
eliminating the frequent capture of elaborate orders by the opposing forces. 
Field orders should be oral or in message form habitually for all elements of 
divisions and frequently for the corps. The practice of assembling subordinate 
commanders for issuance of orders is pernicious, since it takes commanders 
away from their units at critical times and delays operations intolerably. Liaison 
oflEcers should be used for dissemination of orders, 

7- a. The revised organization takes extensive advantage of the pooling 
principle. For example, there are General Headquarters pools of artillery bat- 
talions, tank destroyer battalions, reconnaissance squadrons, antiaircraft bat- 
talions, engineer companies and battalions, armored infantry battalions, tank 
battalions; group headquarters for artillery, tank destroyer, engineer, cavalry, 
antiaircraft, armored infantry, and tank units; necessary and appropriate brigade 
headquarters; and service units. In general, group headquarters will be provided 
in the ratio of one to every three or four battalions; brigade headquarters in 
appropriate cases one to every three or four groups. 

b. Unlike the old regiment and brigade, which had organic battalions and 
regiments, the new groups and brigades have no organic units. Battalions, of any 
or various types, and in any number, may be attached to a group headquarters; 
varying number of groups to a brigade headquarters. The flexibility of the new 
organization makes it readily possible to form task forces to meet particular 
needs, thus effecting economy and permitting massing of means according to 
the situation. Except in the infantry regiment, battalions are self-sustaining, 
that is they are self-administering in the same sense as the regiment heretofore, 

8. Organic antiaircraft and antitank defense of divisions is a moot question. 
It is entirely natural that division commanders desire such defensive means in 
strength sufiBcient to defeat all attacks. Provisions of this kind arc impractical 
and unsound from the standpoint of economy of force. At the same time it is 
reasonable to furnish a limited defense organically and provide a pool of means 
sufficient to reinforce threatened points so as to afford full protection. The in- 
fantry has antitank guns, but the pool of tank destroyer units affords a more 
powerful reserve to meet a massed tank attack. Similarly, all units have organic 



REORGANIZATION FOR COMBAT 



379 



antiaircraft protection in the form of caliber .50 machine guns on ring mounts 
of vehicles^ but the major antiaircraft protection is in the form of self-propelled 
or mobile, automatic weapons, antiaircraft battalions assigned organically to a 
General Headquarters pool, which are highly suitable for this purpose. The 
employment of special pool units is a command decision, according to the 
situation. 

Supply a?2d Maintenance 

9. All organic provisions for supply are based on the principles of paragraph 
38, FM 100-10, 9 December 1940, The following comments are made: 

a. The army is being provided with abundant and flexible means of plac- 
ing supplies within convenient reach of the transportation of using units, regi- 
ments, self-sustaining battalions, and small separate units. 

b. The army handles all supplies upon their arrival in the combat zone, 
using army personnel and transportation. It establishes and mans all supply 
points down to include those which deliver to using units. The using units need 
no personnel specifically detailed for loading the supplies and bring only trans- 
portation and personnel normally assigned to the vehicle to the supply point. 

c. Unit reserves of rations and water normally are confined to kitchen 
trucks and trailers. Resupply of both rations and water is by any available unit 
transportation. 

d. Unit transportation generally includes no provisions for a reserve of 
fuel and lubricants, except in the case of tanks or similar vehicles consuming 
large quantities. Motor vehicles in general have an adequate reserve in fuel tank 
and cans carried in vehicles. Resupply of fuel and lubricants is by any available 
unit transportation, in the discretion of the unit commander. 

There is no change in the present system of ammunition supply. The 
reserve of ammunition of a unit consists primarily of hauling capacity of its 
vehicles. In general, the number of ammunition vehicles assigned a unit is based 
on hauling, rather than carrying capacities. The unit commander must see that 
ammunition vehicles are employed actively and continuously to the extent neces- 
sary to insure an adequate supply of ammunition at all times. 

10. Adequate provision is made for motor maintenance, provided that all 
echelons are employed effectively. Admittedly, third echelon maintenance of 
divisions is inadequate of itself to handle all third echelon repairs under severe 
operating conditions. The excess of such repairs must be made by third echelon 



38o 



ORGANIZATION OF GROUND COMBAT TROOPS 



shops of army and when practical, by second echelon shops of units. When time 
permits and when scheduled maintenance services are not interrupted, it is 
greatly to the advantage of units to make all possible repairs within units, in order 
to avoid evacuating a vehicle with the attendant temporary loss of effectiveness. 
Accordingly, it is emphasized that maintenance echelons of units should be 
trained and practiced in making all repairs to the limit of their capacity in tools, 
parts, and skill. Unserviceable vehicles beyond third echelon repairs should be 
freely evacuated for replacement. The commanding ofiScer of the third echelon 
maintenance unit of a division is ex officio motor officer of the division. His activ- 
ities should extend beyond his own unit and include inspection of all mainte- 
nance elements of the division. 



Augmentation of Corps Headquarters 

11. Orders are issuing directing reorganization of certain corps headquar- 
ters under Table of Organization loo-i, 15 July 1943. This reorganization will 
cause considerable reduction in corps headquarters. It is appreciated that corps 
headquarters in training in the United States have problems and responsibilities 
other than those of an army or corps in combat. Their units are comparatively 
dispersed geographically and there is a continuing need for close supervision and 
tests of training. 

12. In order to meet the training requirements of corps assigned to armies, 
the following allotment is being provided : 

INF FA ENGR ARMEKTO AA-AS 
Colonel 1 

Lt Colonel 2 2 (1) *! *! *1 

Major 2 1 (1) ♦! *1 *1 

Captain 1 (3) 



TOTAL Off 6 **3 (5) *1 *2 *2 

TOTAL EM 4 6 (4) *3 *3 *3 



( ) Armored Corps. 

* Only when no group headquarters of the type indicated is present. If one or more type group head- 
quarters are present, corps commander may assign special staff functions to one or more officers of a group 
headquarters. 

•* Five officers for headquarters and headquarters battery, corps artillery can augment three allotted 
officers to continue existing training section of eight officers and current procedure. 



REORGANIZATION FOR COMBAT 



381 



13. The following allotment, in addition to training allotment, is being 
furnished in order to provide adequate personnel for administrative require- 
ments for corps operating directly under Army Ground Forces* 

ENGR SIG AG IG JA FIN MED ORD QM TOTAL 

Major 1 11111112 10 

Captain 111 1116 

TOTAL Qff22211 1 22 3 16 
TOTAL EM 347223347 35 

Functions of Army and Corps 

14, The follov^ing conception of functions is believed the most suitable 
under the pending organization and in view of the problems of armies and 
corps in the United States: 

a. In general, combat units in training in the United States will be as- 
signed or attached to corps, service units to armies and separate corps, 

b. The army should absorb the maximum of administration, endeavoring 
in every possible manner to simplify procedures and eliminate paper work and 
reports. The army's role in connection with training should be general super- 
vision of all units without duplicating or interfering with the more detailed 
supervision by subordinate headquarters, 

€. In accordance with letter, Hq AGF, 320.2/93 (R) (15 Oct 42) GNGCT, 
15 October 1942, Subject: "Headquarters and Headquarters Detachments, 
Special Troops, Army and Corps," (as amended), each army and separate corps 
has been authorized certain headquarters and headquarters detachments, special 
troops, to direct and supervise both tactical and administrative instruction and 
training of its component units, with the exception of divisions, brigades and 
groups. Each group commander is charged with supervising training of indi- 
vidual units of the group, as well as of the combination as a team. Groups will 
not be attached to headquarters and headquarters detachments, special troops. 

d. The corps has the primary function of as close and frequent super- 
vision of training as is possible in view of size of its headquarters and number 
and dispersion of its units. The more important training tests preferably should 
be conducted by the corps staff. See paragraph 7a, letter, Hq AGF, 319.22/22 



382 



ORGANIZATION OF GROUND COMBAT TROOPS 



(i Jan 43) GNGCT, i January 1943, Subject; "Conduct of Training.'* A sep- 
arate corps combines the functions of army and corps. 

e. The tabular organization of army and corps staffs should be disregarded 
in connection with training inspections in whatever degree is necessary in order 
to utilize the entire staff as wholly as possible for training supervision* Activities 
of the headquarters should be reduced to a minimum^ and all personnel sent 
to the field in connection with training and in capacities best suited to meet 
training needs. Particularly in the corps, it is important that organic staff com- 
partmentation be overridden with this end in view and major proportion of 
all personnel be kept in the field. See paragraph i, "Conduct of Training" 
referred to in d, above. 

15. Paragraph 2, letter Hq AGF, 320.2/187 (R) (i Mar 43) GNGAP-A, 
I March 1943, Subject: "Personnel Administration in 'Assigned' and * Attached' 
Units/' and all other instructions in conflict with the principles stated above are 
rescinded. 

By command of LT. GEN. McNAIR: 

Signed: J. R. DRYDEN, 
Lt. Col, A. G. D., 
Ass't Ground Adjutant General. 



Organization and Training 
of New Ground Combat Elements 

by 

Robert R. Palmer 



Contents 



I. NEW WEAPONS AND OLD PRINCIPLES 387 

The Idea of Balance in AGF Policy 388 

Mobilisation Planning in 1941 391 

Tactical Reorganisation for Economy and Balance 394 

II. ORGANIZATION FOR TRAINING 396 

Growth of the Special Establishments 396 

Decline of the Special Establishments 408 

Organisation for Combined Training 411 

III. PROBLEMS OF WEAPONS AND EQUIPMENT 418 

The Antiaircraft Question 418 

The Tank Destroyer Question 423 

Tanks y Tank Destroyers^ and Antiaircraft Guns as Field Artillery 430 

IV. SUMMARY 433 

Tables 

1. Assignment of Armored Divisions in the Army Ground Forces, 1942-44- . 398 

2. Assignment of Tank Battalions (Other than in Armored Divisions) in 

the Army Ground Forces, 1942-44 399 

3. Assignment of Tank Destroyer Battalions in the Army Ground Forces, 

1942-44 400 

4. Assignment of Antiaircraft Artillery Battalions in the Army Ground 

Forces, 1942-44 401 

Charts 

1. Arms and Quasi Arms in the Army Ground Forces, May 1943 406 

2, Arms and Quasi Arms in the Army Ground Forces, May 1944 407 



1. New Weapons and 
Old Principles 



This study examines the principles and policies followed by the Army 
Ground Forces in dealing with ground combat elements which, singly or in 
combination, were relatively new and untried at the outbreak of World War 
11. In general, their development represented the application to war of the 
results of scientific, mechanical, and industrial progress in the interval between 
World War I and World War IL Such progress profoundly affected the tradi- 
tional arms — Infantry, Cavalry, Field Artillery — and the new Air arm, but these 
are treated only incidentally in the present study. The study is focused on the 
development of new types of ground forces which were tending to become 
arms, specifically on tank forces, antitank forces, airborne forces, and anti- 
aircraft artillery. The rapid development which continued to take place within 
the area thus defined raised some of the most controversial questions faced by 
the Army and the War Department during the progress of the war. OflBcers 
on the staff of the Army Ground Forces, as well as qualified soldiers in the 
various components of the Army, inevitably held divergent views, and current 
solutions had to be found by trial and error. Lt. Gen. Lesley J. McNair, while 
taking positive positions necessary to effective command, frequently and freely 
recognized that views might honestly differ, since appeal to extensive experience 
was impracticable. 

The net effect of technical innovations in World War II was a tremendous 
increase in the speed and mobility with which fire power could be brought to 
bear. Physical mobility was increased by motorization, which, remarkably 
developed in the preceding two decades, made possible improved self-propelled 
or truck-drawn guns, rapid movement of troops by plane, half-track, and truck, 
and new uses for tanks and aircraft. Tactical mobility, or the use of physical 



388 



ORGANIZATION OF GROUND COMBAT TROOPS 



mobility for reasoned objectives, was enhanced by parallel progress in com- 
munications, partly in wire, chiefly in radio, which in various forms from the 
"walkie-talkie" to new developments in short wave could furnish commanders 
of all echelons with immediate information. 

The Germans, in the air-tank blitz of 1939 and 1940, used the new devices 
to effect what seemed at the time a revolution in tactics. Americans were easily 
persuaded, both within and outside the armed services, that modern war required 
a profusion of machines and that personnel employing the machines must 
receive highly specialized training in their use. It was more difficult to hold 
steadily in view the end for which the machines existed, and the total combined 
effect to which forms of specialization were meant to contribute. 

The problem resolved itself into the integration of new techniques of war- 
fare with the old, but still basic, principles of tactics and strategy* Many, includ- 
ing General McNair, insisted on keeping such principles constantly in mind. 
Greater mobility gave new meaning to the old tactical ideas of surprise, flexi- 
bility, and concentration. The old idea of balanced forces became more im- 
portant, rather than less, because of technical specialization and interdependence 
in the armed services. The need of unity of over-all command was more urgent, 
rather than less, because of the freedom which had to be granted to specialists 
for the promotion of their chosen arms. Unity of command was also the more 
necessary as forces became more mobile, if all were to be engaged in fighting 
the same war. Economy of force remained a basic necessity even for a country 
priding itself on the superiority of its resources. 

The Idea of Balance in AGF Policy 

General McNair stated his basic views on the "Evaluation of Modern Battle 
Forces" in an exchange of papers with G-2 of the War Department General 
Staff in March 1941. G-2 had suggested that the infantry-artillery team might 
be rendered obsolete by the air-tank team employed by the Germans.^ In reply. 
General McNair expressed a continuing belief in the central importance of 
infantry. He doubted whether aviation would replace field artillery, however 
much it might extend the depth of attack. He stated his views as follows: ^ 

^ WD memo G-2/2016-1297 for CofS USA, i Mar 41, sub: Evaluation of Modern Battle Forces. GHQ 
Records, 059/1. 

" Memo of Gen McNair for CofS USA, 12 Mar 41, sub as above, GHQ Records, 059/1. 



ORGANIZATION OF NEW COMBAT ELEMENTS 



389 



March 12, 194 1 

MEMORANDUM FOR THE CHIEF OF STAFF: 

Subject: Evaluation of Modern Battle Forces. 

The following comments are submitted in connection with G-2 memorandum, March 
1, 1941, this subject, as directed by your memorandum of March 3: 

1. G-2 is to be congratulated on this study. 

2. It is felt that the picture presented is hardly a balanced one. The German mechanized 
army was not alone and supported only by aviation, as might be inferred, for example, 
from the second paragraph of the G-2 memorandum. It is my understanding that over 
twenty infantry divisions formed a long finger from Sedan to Abbeville along the Aisne, 
backing up the armored force, protecting its communications, and thus making possible its 
headlong rush. In making this comment, there is no thought of detracting from the brilliancy 
and importance of the operation of the armored force. 

3. As to the weapons which are heralded as supplanting infantry and artillery: 

a. The tank was introduced to protect against automatic small arms fire, which 
was developed so greatly during and since the World War. Its answer is fire against 
which the tank does not protect — the antitank gun. That this answer failed was due 
primarily to the pitifully inadequate number and power of French and British antitank 
guns, as well as their incorrect organization. The tank is a conspicuous target and 
cannot cope with a sufficiendy powerful gun in position. The antitank mine also is a 
thoroughly effective antitank weapon. 

if. Air support of armored elements depends on air superiority, which the Germans 
possessed overwhelmingly. 

4. The picture to be studied is not alone that presented by the G-2 memorandum, 
but rather one in which tanks are met by reasonably adequate countermeasures, and in 
which the aviation supporting the tanks is unable to drive its adversaries from the air. In 
such a picture, armored legions quite conceivably might emerge from such an all-out attack 
an almost total loss. It is unsafe to stake the national defense on such an uncertain prospect. 

5. As to action to meet the situation presented: 

a. With reference to the air threat, sufficient aviation is the primary need, and is 
being procured. Antiaircraft fire to protect ground troops also is needed in a mobile 
mass sufficient to meet concentrated air attacks, but is not being procured. 

b. The need of a greatly expanded mobile force of suitable antitank guns has been 
pointed out repeatedly, but is not being procured. 

c. An armored force is being developed as rapidly as possible. It is unnecessary 
to decide now where this development should stop, with reference to infantry divisions. 
Subsequent war experience should throw further light on this question. 

d. The operation in question and others in the present war do not point to an 
increase in the number of cavalry divisions, 

6. Given proper action along the foregoing lines, the infantry division will continue 
to be the backbone of an army. 



390 



ORGANIZATION OF GROUND COMBAT TROOPS 



In short, in General McNair's opinion, the infantry division, backed by 
artillery, would remain the basic instrument of warfare if the proper new 
forces were developed to support it and if a degree of air superiority could be 
obtained. Balance between different weapons was the essential. Details of the 
balance should be determined by experience. 

This remained General McNair's view. In 1941, when he felt that the bal- 
ance inclined too little to the new forces, he strongly urged their development. 
In 1942, when the United States had fully entered the war, and the balance 
seemed to swing toward an undue development not only of aviation but also 
of antiaircraft artillery, armored and motorized divisions, and specialized units 
of many types. General McNair frequently appeared in a more conservative 
position, urging the importance of the foot soldier and the field gun. 

By the time of the establishment of Army Ground Forces in March 1942, 
the War Department had taken steps to provide the forces enumerated by 
General McNair in paragraph 5 of his memorandum of March 1941.^ The 
Army Air Forces was created under that name in June 194 1, The developmental 
functions of older ground arms were grouped under the Replacement and 
School Command of the Army Ground Forces. Newer tactical elements, be- 
cause of their special problems of development and expansion, were each given 
an independent organization directly subordinate to Headquarters, Army 
Ground Forces.* 

These newer tactical elements — armored, tank destroyer, antiaircraft, and 
airborne — trained their personnel and developed their equipment and tactics 
in special establishments, known variously (in an order of descending impor- 
tance) as a force, command, or center. Each establishment, since its function was 
to develop the maximum possibilities of given weapons, was operated by officers 
who believed strongly in these possibilities, who spent their whole time in 
exploring them, and who therefore developed branch spirit to a high degree. 
The commanding generals — Lt. Gen. Jacob L. Devers of the Armored Force 
(not the first commander, but the first under Army Ground Forces), Maj. Gen. 
John A. Green of the Antiaircraft Command, Maj, Gen. Andrew D. Bruce of 
the Tank Destroyer Center, and Maj. Gen, William C. Lee of the Airborne 
Command — were all officers who had struggled to get their programs more 

' (i) See above, "Origins of the Arm y Ground Forces: General Headquarters, United States Army, 
►-42," < 
y Grou] 



1940-42," especially fections II} and VII. (2) Sec also AGF Historical Section, A General History of the 
Army Ground Forces. 



ORGANIZATION OF NEW COMBAT ELEMENTS 



fully incorporated into the Army, Each organization had a spirit of enthusiasm 
for its own role, a valuable and creative spirit, but one which General McNair 
wished to direct toward the over-all interests of the Army as he understood 
them. 

One aim of the reorganization of 9 March 1942 was to subdue the spirit of 
branch independence. The trend of AGF policy with respect to the Air Forces 
was to cooperate on matters of common interest; with respect to the older arms 
(Infantry, Cavalry, Field Artillery, and Coast Artillery), to administer them 
centrally through the Replacement and School Command or directly through 
the AGF headquarters staff; and with respect to the newer establishments or 
quasi arms (Armored, Tank Destroyer, Antiaircraft, and Airborne), at first 
to allow a degree of independence, later to assimilate them to the status of the 
older arms by subordinating them more fully to AGF headquarters, either 
directly or through the Replacement and School Command. The fulfillment 
of this policy took about two years, except that cooperation with the headquarters 
of the Army Air Forces was never as complete as General McNair desired. The 
aim of the policy was to secure a balance of forces : first, a balance in mobilization, 
for example, between armored and infantry troops (the higher balance between 
aviation and ground forces being of necessity left to the War Department) ; 
second, a balanced training in the sense of combined training to weld the several 
arms into teams; and consequently, third, the production on the battlefield 
of a complex but unified fighting force. 

In this way each arm would be developed in the most useful ratio to other 
arms. None would grow simply for its own advantage or in an enthusiastic 
belief in the peculiar decisiveness of its operations. None would consume 
resources which might more effectively be assigned to another. Balance meant 
an economy of force, or a maximizing of the military power of the United States. 

Mobilization Planning in 1^42 

Mobilization policy in 1942 inclined heavily toward the expansion of 
newer tactical specialties, and toward the endowment of all units with a great 
array of mechanical equipment, especially in motor transportation. The inade- 
quacy of prewar provisions made such a program necessary. There was also a 
tendency to build heavily equipped units and to furnish American troops with 
a quantity of conveniences corresponding to the living habits of the American 
people. Toward the end of 1942, after the first rush of rearmament, the basic 



392 



ORGANIZATION OF GROUND COMBAT TROOPS 



problem of logistics inherent in the situation of the United States asserted itself. 
American military power was not a mere matter of what could be assembled 
in the United States but rather of what force could be exerted at distances of 
from three to twelve thousand miles.'* However much the world may have 
shrunk with the development of aviation or the course of political thinking, 
for logistical purposes the oceans were about as wide in 1942 as in 1917, The 
bulkier the equipment, the less could be sent overseas. The more auxiliary 
personnel and materiel put on shipboard, the less was the offensive power 
which could be delivered. 

In May 1942 the War Department had ordered the conversion of 7 infantry 
divisions provided in the 1942 Troop Basis into 4 armored and 3 motorized 
divisions* The Operations Division (OPD), War Department General Staff, 
estimated that, by the end of 1943, 46 armored and 23 motorized divisions out 
of a total of 140 divisions should be mobilized/ Army Ground Forces pro- 
nounced this program feasible but judged the proportion of armored and 
motorized to infantry divisions excessive and "not in consonance with existing 
transportation shortages." ® Army Ground Forces advised against mechanization 
of the two cavalry divisions, holding that the nondivisional cavalry regiments, 
which were all mechanized (with light tanks, armored cars, self-propelled 
howitzers, and trucks), were suflScient/ Two airborne divisions were organized 
in the summer of 1942. Tank destroyer battalions were rapidly activated. 
Antiaircraft battalions were activated even more rapidly, frequently out- 
running the 1942 Troop Basis, General McNair doubted the value of anti- 
aircraft artillery as an offensive weapon, since much of it was used to protect 
rear-area installations or airfields, and since those units which operated with 
mobile ground forces were useful primarily only so long as American air power 
was undeveloped.^** 

•WD memo (C) WDGCT 451 (10-8-42) for CG AGF» 30 Oct 42, sub: Excessive Number of Motor 
Vehicles. 451/66 (C). 

•WD memo (S) WDGCT 320.2 (4-28-42) for CG AGF, 4 May 42, sub: Armd and Mtzd Divs. 
320.2/165 (S). 

'WD memo (S) OPD 320.2 (5-10-42) (2-12-42) for G-3 WD, 23 May 42, sub: Ma] Tr Unit Reqts 
for 1942, 1943, 1944. 320.2/190 (S). 

■AGF memo (S) for OPD WDGS, 28 May 42, sub: Maj Tr Unit Reqts for 1942, 1943, 1944. 
320.2/190 (S). 

• (i) AGF memo for G^3 WD, 5 May 42, sub: Cav Orgn. 321/51 (Cav). (2) Sec also memo, SW for 
ASW, 21 Jul 42. 321/99 (Cav). 

" (i) Sec above, inQlprouiid Forces in the Army, December iq4i-Ap rn IQ4^: a Statistical Study,*] cols 
16 and 21 of the table. (2) See above also, i "Mobilization of the Ground ArmyH 



ORGANIZATION OF NEW COMBAT ELEMENTS 



393 



By the fall of 1942 the need of economy became evident. Estimates obtained 
by the War Department disclosed the limits in the capacity of the United States 
to produce war material," and for the first time the ceiling on the manpower 
available to the Army came into view. The limitations on shipping capacity 
were felt as the submarine menace continued unabated. In addition, and in 
part because of these limitations, the strategic plans of the Combined Chiefs 
of Staff had changed; the idea of early ground operations in western Europe 
had been abandoned. The War Department dispatched a long memorandum 
to the commanding generals of the Army Ground Forces and the Services of 
Supply, reading in part as follows: 

The above shipping considerations may dictate a considerable change in our strategic 
concept with a consequent change in the basic structure of our Army. Since, from the 
shipping capabilities indicated above, it appears that the early employment of a mass Army, 
which must be transported by water, is not practicable, it follows that the trend must be 
toward light, easily transportable units rather than units of the heavier type. Likewise, the 
proportion of Air Forces may have to be increased. . , . 

Indications are that the 7,500,000 men allotted to the Army for 1943 approaches the 
maximum manpower level that the Army is going to be able to reach. If this is the case, 
it is highly necessary that we not commit the type of Army which we shall build in 1943 
too definitely to a single strategic concept such as 5440 [the now postponed plan for the 
invasion of Europe] which may prove impracticable of accomplishment. Recent indications 
are that a further expansion of the Air Forces may be expected which not only will reduce 
the number of men available for the ground forces but will complicate, if not curtail, the 
procurement of heavy equipment for other than the Air Forces. 

In other words, it was decided to push the development of air power rather 
than a fuller development of the ground army. 

In considering how to reduce the originally planned strength of the ground 
army for 1943, Army Ground Forces and the War Department agreed that 
shipping capacity should be a governing factor. The Army Ground Forces 
favored reduction in those units, whether light or heavy, whose shipment added 
the least to combat power overseas. The War Department favored reduction 
in the heavy units which were the most difficult to transport. Army Ground 
Forces recommended that reduction be made preferably in antiaircraft and 

" Rpt (R) of ASF for Fiscal Year 1943, P- I9- 

"WD memo (S) WDGCT 320.2 Gen (10-25-42) for CGs AGF. SOS, 25 Oct 42, sub: TB 1943. 
S20.2/5 (TB 43) (S). 



394 



ORGANIZATION OF GROUND COMBAT TROOPS 



service units and in armored and motorized divisions rather than in infantry 
and airborne divisions. By late 1942 there were strong tactical reasons for 
reviewing the ratio of armored to infantry strength. Army Ground Forces also 
recommended that an appropriate balance among units of different types 
(whether light or heavy) be maintained in the reductions." 

The War Department, applying cuts chiefly in heavier units, reduced the 
originally proposed number of armored and motorized divisions, though not as 
much as the Army Ground Forces desired. Cuts were made also in the planned 
number of other heavy units: nondivisional tank battalions (more useful than 
armored divisions for close support of infantry); tank destroyer battalions; and 
nondivisional field artillery, especially heavy artillery. The figures adopted for 
these units were well below those recommended by the Army Ground Forces — 
in the case of heavy artillery 50 percent below what the Army Ground Forces 
believed necessary. The planned strength of antiaircraft artillery (half the 
strength contemplated for infantry) remained virtually unchanged for another 
year. Nor was the expansion of service units effectively checked. The resulting 
mobilization program, embodied in November 1942 in the first version of the 
1943 Troop Basis, was regarded by the Army Ground Forces as seriously 
unbalanced." 



Tactical Reorganization for Economy and Balance 

When, in October 1942, the War Department empowered General McNair 
to reorganize the ground forces on a basis of the strictest economy, he took 
advantage of the opportunity to apply his conceptions of a properly balanced 
force. The application and its effect on the composition of the ground forces at 
successive stages of World War II have been described in the two preceding 
studies,^* and need be only briefly summarized here. 

Carrying out with rigor his mandate to cut back the number of vehicles in 
the ground army, which in his opinion had become excessive to the point of 

" (i) Ibid, (a) AGF memo (S) for G-3 WD. 29 Oct 4a, sub as above. (3) WD memo (S) WDGCT 
320.2 Gen (iQ-a?-43) for CO AGF, 10 No v 4a, sub as above. All in 320.2/4 and 5 (TB 43) (S). (4) See 
above, I'Mobilization of the Ground Army.H 



" See above. "Mobilization of the Ground Army," ] p. 21 7. | 
"See above, "Reorganization of Ground Troops for Combat," 
Ground Army," pp. 217-220. For earlier developments, see above, 
General Headquarters, United States Army, 1940-42," pp. 51 ff. 



PP- 297-?9} aJid "Mobilization of the 
"Origins or the Army Ground Forco] 



ORGANIZATION OF NEW COMBAT ELEMENTS 



395 



impairing mobility, General McNair also reduced the proportion of units in 
categories that were not only difficult to ship because of their massive equipment, 
but which he believed had been developed to a point in excess of tactical 
requirements. The two most important of these categories were motorized and 
armored divisions. He sought, with less success, to cut down the proportion of 
antiaircraft artillery, not only because of its mass of specialized equipment but 
also because antiaircraft artillery was primarily a defensive arm. At the same 
time, to offset the effect of these cuts, he proposed a reorganization of the whole 
structure of tactical command in the ground forces, with the object of intro- 
ducing a maximum of economy and flexibility into the employment of all 
categories of specialized and mobile units so that they could be brought into 
action when and where most critically needed. The recommendations of General 
McNair for a reduction in the proportion of armored and antiaircraft units 
and for an increase in the proportion of field artillery were, in general, followed, 
after delays and debates which are described in the preceding studies. Motorized 
divisions disappeared. The organic motor transportation of all ground units 
was cut to the bone. The twin principles of streamlining and pooling were put 
into effect in a drastic reorganization of tactical commands. The net result was 
a ground army whose parts were less self-sufficient, but which was lighter in 
equipment and more flexible in its capacity to mass its fire power at critical 
points on a wide front. Its fire power as a whole was increased, without 
reducing that of its front line units. It was not a force built around motorized 
and armored imits, as some had anticipated and desired, but one whose main 
strength was in infantry, backed by guns of all kinds which could be massed or 
detailed to support in attack, and supplemented by less encumbered armored 
divisions designed to exploit a breakthrough. The infantry division con- 
tinued to be the backbone of the United States ground army as organized in 
World War II. 



IL Organization for Training 



The armored, tank destroyer, antiaircraft, and airborne elements of the 
Army, which had grown up as separate enterprises in 1940 and 1941, each pos- 
sessed or received, on coming under the Army Ground Forces in 1942, a special 
establishment (called a "force," "command," or "center") for the development 
of its equipment and doctrine and the training of its enlisted and officer 
personnel,^ In exercising these functions the new establishments resembled the 
"arms" — infantry, cavalry, etc. — but they could not become arms because of 
restrictions in legislation governing the Army. In some respects, however, they 
were more than arms. Whereas the true arms had been gathered under the 
Replacement and School Command, the new establishments, or quasi arm?, 
enjoyed an independent existence within the Army Ground Forces. The true 
arms exercised no command authority; the new establishments were military 
commands, charged with the training of tactical units. Whereas units of the 
older arms were trained from the moment of activation under armies, corps, 
and divisions, units of the new forces, in which a new and special knowledge 
was needed, were trained initially under their respective force, command, or 
center, passing later to armies, corps, or divisions for combined training. 

TTie policy of the Army Ground Forces was to allow a degree of inde- 
pendence to the special establishments while development and expansion were 
the foremost needs, but later to check their independence by assimilating them 
to the status of the older arms. 

Growth of the Special Establishments 

At first, by the War Department reorganization of 9 March 1942, only the 
Armored Force and the Antiaircraft Command (the term "Antiaircraft Force" 
had been considered but rejected) had the full features of a quasi arm. Each 

* Each of these commands has written its own history under the direction of the AGF Historical Sec- 
tion. The present study attempts only a very brief ovcr-all survey. 



ORGANIZATION OF NEW COMBAT ELEMENTS 



397 



possessed a service board and a service school, including an officer candidate 
school, and each trained individual replacements for its units. Each exercised 
jurisdiction over personnel administration, operated replacement pools, and 
controlled assignments. Each had command of tactical units: virtually all 
armored units in the United States were assigned to the Armored Force, and 
all antiaircraft units in the United States except those in defense comm ands 
were assigned to the Antiaircraft Command.* (See Tables "Nos. i to 4.)! 

The Armored Force enjoyed also certain other powers. Unlike other ground 
arms, it dealt direcdy with War Department agencies and private manufac- 
mrers in matters of procurement. It controlled the distribution of tanks to the 
motorized divisions, the mechanized cavalry, and the few armored units which 
in 1942 were not under its own command. It helped to establish the Desert 
Training Center and sought to share in its control. In May 1942 it was confirmed 
in its authority over the promotion and assignment of all armored officers in 
the Army Ground Forces. Requisitions for enlisted personnel of other ground 
arms were filled in 1942 by The Adjutant General, but requisitions for armored 
personnel were filled by the Chief of the Armored Force.* 

Because of this wide jurisdiction and for various other reasons — the fact 
that the tank was a prime offensive weapon, that the units under its command 
were as large as divisions and corps, and that its chief (from September 1942 
to May 1943) held, like General McNair, the rank of lieutenant general — the 
Armored Force was by far the strongest and most autonomous of the special 
establishments in the Army Ground Forces. With a strength ranging from 
100,000 to 200,000, it compared to a field army in size. There was a tendency 
among armored officers to believe that large armored units could operate 
tactically alone, far ahead of more slowly moving ground troops. The habit of 
the Armored Force in 194 1 of comparing itself to the Air Forces has already 
been noted.* This ambition had been dampened by the War Department. 



" (1) AGF Itr to Maj Gen J. A. Greene, CofCA, 9 Mar 42, sub: Advance Directive, Activation oi AA 
Comd. 320.2/2 (AA). (2) For the Armored Force sec above, "Origins of the Army Ground Forces: General 
Headquarters, United States Army, 1940-42/* Sec. III. 

* (i) See papers in 470.8/145. (2) Sec AGF Historical Section, The Desert Training Center and C-AMA, 
(3) AGF Itr to CGs, 20 May 42, sub: Admin Jurisdiction over Offs of Armd Force Units While Under 
Temp .Control of Other Comdrs. 320,2/121 (Armd F), (4) See AGF Historical Section, Provision of Enlisted 
Replacements. 

* Sec above, "Origins of the Army Ground Forces: General Headquarters, United States Army, 1940-42," 
p, 72. 



398 



ORGANIZATION OF GROUND COMBAT TROOPS 
TABLE NO. I 



Assignment of Armored Divisions 
in the Army Ground Forces, 1^42-44 





IMAY 
42 


1 SEP 
42 


1 FEB 
43 


1 JUL 
43 


10 NOV 
43 


IMAY 
44 


Armored Force (exclusive of Corps) 


5 


10 


6 


3 


2 




Armored Corps under Armored 














Force; 
















2 


















2 












... 




2 








7 


10 


8 


5 


2 








1 


2 


2 


1 




II Armored Corps 




















2 


2 


... 




III Armored Corps 






















2 














1 










. . . 


4 • . 




2 








... 


... 




1 
























... 


















1 














1 














1 




























1 














2 














1 
















2 














2 














2 




7 


10 


8 


5 


2 










1 


4 


9 


11 


9 


TOTAL IN ARMY GROUND 


7 


11 


12 


14 


13 


9 



Source: AGF records, 320.2 Assignment Lists (C). 



ORGANIZATION OF NEW COMBAT ELEMENTS 399 

TABLE NO. 2 



Assignment of Tan\ Battalions (Other Than in Armored Divisions) 
in the Army Ground Forces, ig42~44 



ASSIGNED TO: 


1 MAY 

42 


1 SEP 

42 


1 FEB 

43 


1 JUL 
43 


10 NOV 

43 


1 MAY 
44 




10 


8 


19 


16 


14 


2 






2 


3 


5 


3 






2 
J 


2 


2 


2 


2 








]^ 


































iC 

o 


1 


ivepiaCcnicni ct. ^cnooi ^omniauu. • • 












7 
















TTT ^n«>*^c 










1 


a 


Vff Cr\fr\c 














f Y r^/-kff%c 










1 

1 
























... 




2 


... 












3 


1 














2 












5 














2 














2 
















1 














3 














5 




10 


8 


19 


16 


14 


2 




5 


6 


6 


9 


33 


25 


TOTAL IN ARMY GROUND 
FORCES 


15 


14 


25 


25 


47 


27 



Source: AGF records, 520.2 Assignment Lists (Q. 



400 



ORGANIZATION OF GROUND COMBAT TROOPS 



TABLE NO, 3 



Assignment of Tan\ Destroyer Battalions 
in the Army Ground Forces, 



ASSIGNED TO: 


IMAY 
42 


10 NOV 
42 


iMAY 
43 


10 NOV 

43 


IMAY 
44 




1 


28 


56 


27 






6 


3 


2 








20 


14 


9 








13 


17 


12 














7 






1 


2 


6 


6 








4 


1 














5 






... 




4 








3 












4 


















... 






5 




••• 


5 










• • ■ 


6 












5 












5 












1 




































5 












5 












7 














1 












5 












16 












4 




I 


28 


56 


27 







52 


46 


37 


57 


41 


TOTAL IN ARMY GROUND FORCES 


53 


74 


93 


84 


41 



Source: AGF records, 320.2 Assigameot Lists (C). 



ORGANIZATION OF NEW COMBAT ELEMENTS 



401 



TABLE NO. 4 



Assignment of Antiaircraft Artillery Battalions 
in the Army Ground Forces, 1^42-44 



ASSIGNED TO: 


1 MAY 

42 


10 NOV 
42 


1 MAY 
43 


10 NOV 

43 


1 MAY 
44 






137 


238 


loo 


147 








2 


• • • 


• • • 


C ] A 






9 


1 


1 


T^t^JaJ A 






2 


8 


• • ' 








■ * * 


6 


5 








4 


7 


• • 1 








3 


• • • 


• • • 


TTF 








• • • 


11 


TV 








• • • 


2 






















1 


... 


"VTf 








3 




Xin Corps 








12 


3 


XVI Corps 










3 


XVIII Corps 




















1 


• • « 


XXI Corps,. • 










4 


XXII Corps 












XXin Corps 












Total in Antiaircraft Command 


48 


137 


238 


186 


147 


Total not in Antiaircraft Command 


1 





21 


39 


34 


TOTAL IN ARMY GROUND FORCES 


49 


137 


259 


223 


181 



Source: AGF records, 320.2 Assignment Lists (C). 



402 



ORGANIZATION OF GROUND COMBAT TROOPS 



By 1943, with the detachment of armored units from its command, and with the 
tremendous expansion of antiaircraft artillery, the Armored Force was not as 
large as the Antiaircraft Command. Nor was it ever as geographically extensive, 
being concentrated at Fort Knox, Ky., whereas the Antiaircraft Command, 
from its headquarters at Richmond, Va,, controlled at one time as many as 
eleven trainbg centers throughout the United States. 

' The Airborne Command was not provided for in the War Department 
reorganization, but it was activated by the Army Ground Forces on 23 March 
1942, replacing the Provisional Parachute Group organized in 1941.* The Para- 
chute School was transferred from the Infantry School to the new command, as 
were all airborne units then existing in the United States — two incomplete 
parachute infantry regiments and one glider infantry battalion.® Airborne divi- 
sions, when later activated, were placed under the Airborne Command for train- 
ing only, under army headquarters for administration and supply,^ No replace- 
ment training center, board, or school (other than for parachutists) was created 
for the Airborne Command; these functions, along with personnel adminis- 
tration, were performed for airborne troops by other agencies of the Ground 
Forces.® The Airborne Command remained primarily a training center and did 
not develop as far as the other special establishments in the direction of being 
an arm. 

The status of tank destroyers remained undecided for several months. The 
War Department reorganization placed a Tank Destroyer Command directly 
under Headquarters, Army Ground Forces. This command possessed only the 
limited functions of the Tank Destroyer Tactical and Firing Center activated in 
the preceding December.® Many officers questioned whether the tank destroyer 
was a weapon around which a separate organization should be built. General 
Devers wished to annex the training of tank destroyers, as well as that of 

' (i) Memo of Gen McNair for CofS USA, 17 Mar 42, sub: A/B Comd. 320.2/1 (AB). (2) AGF Itrs 
to A/B Comd, 23 and 24 Mar 42, sub as above. 320.2/1 (AB), (3) AGF Itr (R) to CO A/B Comd, 8 Apr 
42, sub as above. 320.2/1 (AB) (R). 

• (i) AGF Itr to A/B Comd and R&SC, 6 May 42, sub: Pcht Sch. 320.2/21 (AB). (2) A/B Comd Itr 
(C) to CG AGF, 18 Apr 42, sub: A/B Comd Tng Situation. 353/1 (AB) (C). 

^ (i) AGF Itr (C) to CGs A/B Comd, Second and Third Armies, 21 Oct 42, sub: Dirccdvc for Tng 
A/B Divs. 353/11 (AB) (C). (2) Personal Itr (S) of Brig Gen F. L. Parks, CofS AGF to Brig Gen M. B, 
Ridgway, 29 Jul 42, 322.98 (S). 

'The request of the Airborne Command for establishment of a service board was disapproved. AGF 
1st ind, 7 Jun 43, to AB Comd Itr, 15 May 43, sub: A/B Bd. 320.2/225 (AB). 

® TDC Info Bull 10, a statement by TDC of its own functions, 30 Mar 42. 020/34. 



ORGANIZATION OF NEW COMBAT ELEMENTS 



mechanized cavalry, to the Armored Force." This transfer of the tank destroyers 
was favored by the chief of the Operations Section, Headquarters, Army Ground 
Forces; he also recommended that airborne training should be conducted by the 
field armies, believing that Army Ground Forces was dealing with too many 
directly subordinate headquarters.^^ General McNair had long thought that 
antitank and antiaircraft training in their initial phases should be separate from 
the Armored Force and from the Air Force, largely on psychological grounds." 
But he had not yet decided how far the separate organization of tank destroyer 
training should go. On 11 July 1942, observing that the Tank Destroyer Com- 
mand hardly constituted more than » service school, having no command au- 
thority like that of the Armored and Antiaircraft establishments, he recom- 
mended to the War Department that it be placed with the schools of the older 
arms and under the Replacement and School Command." 

There were at this time about seventy tank destroyer battalions in various 
parts of the country, attached principally to the field armies. They were in differ- 
ent stages of incompleteness in organization and equipment, most of them being 
lineal descendants of the provisional antitank battalions created in 1941 by a 
redistribution of artillery weapons. AGF staff officers, after inspecting these 
battalions, reported on 13 July 1942 that all were confused by uncertainty of 
organization, that none had a good firing range, and that since tank destroyer 
tactics were not crystallized each battalion followed its own ideas of training. 
The report urged the necessity of a unit training center through which battalions 
could be rotated for standardization at the highest level " 

Instead, therefore, of being curtailed, the Tank Destroyer Command was 
expanded in the latter half of 1942. An advanced unit training center was estab- 
lished for the battalions already active, together with a basic unit training center 
for the numerous new battalions called for in the Troop Basis. Step by step, 
General Bruce received full command authority over the tank destroyer bat- 

"Mcmo (C) of CofArmdF for CG AGF, 21 Mar 42, sub not given. 320.2/7 (Armd Center) (C). 

"Memo of Col Ott, Opns Dlv AGF for CG AGF, 27 May 42, sub: Orgn of Hq and Fid Elements of 
AGF. 020/73. 

" (i) See above, "Origins of the Army Ground Forces: General Headquarters, United States Army, 
1040-42." ! p. 81I (2) Memo of Gen McNair for G-3 WD, 2 Sep 41, sub: Orgn of AT Units in the Army, 
GHQ Records, 353/15 (AT). 

" (i) Memo of Gen McNair for G-3 WD, 11 Jul 42, sub; Change in Status of TDC. Approved by 
WD. 320.2/69 (TDC). (2) AGF 4th ind (C) to CG SOS, 1 May 42. 320.3/2 (TDC) (C), 

**IncI to memo of Maj F, T. Unger, 13 Jul 42, sub: Summary of Inspection of TD Bns. 353/42 (TDC). 



404 



ORGANIZATION OF GROUND COMBAT TROOPS 



talions sent to him for training. His requests for a replacement training center 
and an oflScer candidate school were granted. With these enlargements the Tank 
Destroyer Command, although redesignated as a "Center," and although its 
school and replacement center was put under the Replacement and School 
Command, nevertheless reached the stature of a quasi arm/** 

In October 1942 the Tank Destroyer Center was empowered to inspect, as 
an agency of Army Ground Force headquarters, all tank destroyer battalions 
attached to armies and other subdivisions of the Army Ground Forces, The 
purpose of these inspections was to maintain uniform standards of training, 
acquaint field units with the latest doctrine, and estimate status of equipment, 
degree of combat efficiency, and readiness for overseas shipment. The Tank 
Destroyer Center was the first of the special establishments to receive this 
authority to inspect units not under its own command. The others in 1942 had 
virtually no units attached to the field forces.^® 

While the powers of the Tank Destroyer Center expanded in 1942, those of 
the Armored Force were gradually restricted. General McNair came increas- 
ingly to believe that the Armored Force, as he said, "should join the Army." In 
this respect the Armored Force presented, in accentuated form, a problem raised 
by all the special establishments. Since the Armored Force was the oldest and 
strongest of these establishments, it was the first to feel the restrictions imposed 
by the Army Ground Forces on branch independence. On 19 March 1942 the 
I Armored Corps was transferred from the Armored Force to the Desert Train- 
ing Center." The complete separation of the Desert Training Center from the 
Armored Force was effected. Plans were launched for increasing the infantry 
strength within the armored division, and for assigning armored corps, divi- 
sions, and battalions to nonarmored higher command. In December 1942 the 
Armored Force yielded to the Army Ground Forces its jurisdiction over the 
distribution of tanks." 

By the end of 1942 the operations of the special establishments had become 
very similar. The armored, antiaircraft, and tank destroyer organizations gave 

" (i) AGF hr to R&SC, 14 Aug 42, sub: Opn of TDC. 320.2/87 (TDC). (2) AGF Itr to CGs, 16 Aug 
42, sub as above. 320.2/69 (TDC). (3) Papers in 320.2/4 (TDC) (C), 320.2/14 (TDC) (R), 353/72 (S), 
and 320.2/69 (TDC). 

"AGF Icr to CGs, 21 Oct 42, sub: Tng Inspections, TD Units. 331. 1/9 (TDC). 
"AGF Itr (C) to CGs, 19 Mar 42, sub: Asgmt of I Armd Corps. 320.2/4 (Armd Center) (C). 
"AGF Itr (R) to CGs, 27 Dec 42, sub: Allocation and Distribution of Tks. With related papers. 
570.8/133 (R). 



ORGANIZATION OF NEW COMBAT ELEMENTS 



basic training, officer and specialist training, and other forms of individual 
instruction. The Armored Force and Antiaircraft Command controlled assign- 
ment of their personnel, a function assumed by the Tank Destroyer Center, by 
delegation from the Replacement and School Conimand, in March 1943.^^ All 
three activated units of their respective types and provided the cadres and unit 
training programs. The three, together v^^ith the Airborne Command, acted as 
unit training centers, giving initial or branch training to their respective bat- 
talions and divisions. All four v^^ere responsible for the progress of tactical 
doctrine, training methods, and equipment in their several fields. 

For combined training, by plans made late in 1942, units v^^ere to be detached 
from their special establishments on the completion of their branch training, 
and attached (later assigned) to armies and corps*^** The question presented itself 
of hov^^ the special establishments should exercise their functions v^^ith regard to 
personnel, doctrine, and equipment after their units v^^ere v^^ithdrawn from their 
respective commands. Airborne units were so few, and the functions of the 
Airborne Command so restricted, as to present no problem. For the Armored 
Force, Antiaircraft Command, and Tank Destroyer Center, identical solutions 
were adopted. 

In personnel administration, these three retained the responsibility for 
maintaining the records necessary to classify and assign personnel of their arms. 
In procuring cadres for new units which they activated, and for other purposes 
of their own, they were forbidden, without the approval of Army Ground 
Forces, to withdraw personnel of their arms from units attached to tactical 
commanders for combined training. In the interest of unity of authority com- 
manders of these tactical units received jurisdiction over personnel adminis- 
tration of the attached units, except where permanent transfer or change of 
station was involved.^ 

To link the training establishments with the field forces in matters of train- 
ing, doctrine, and equipment, the system of inspections originally applied to the 
tank destroyer battalions was extended to armored and antiaircraft units. Like 

"R&SC Itr to CG AGF, 15 Mar 43^ sub: Asgmt o£ TD Off and Enl Men. 320.2/211 (TDC). (2) See 
papers in 320.2/7 (TDC) (C). 

"(i) Memo (S) of Col Winn for Gen McNair, 2 Oct 42, sub: Revision of AGF Comd Orgn. 
320.2/493 (S). (2) AGF M/S, CG to G-i and G-4, 5 Nov 42, with related papers. 320.2/396. (3) Papers 
in AGF Plans Sec file 154. 

(i) AGF Itr (R) to CGs, 16 Jan 43, sub: Pers Administration in Assigned" and "Attached" Units. 
320.2/167 (R). (2) AGF Itr (R) to CGs, 1 Mar 43, sub as above. 330.2/187 (R). 



^1 



up 



h 
Is 



I 
I 



C2 



11 

Hi o 



K u 



^1 



n 



IS 



5» 



02 



f 



3 Pfi 



5 ^ 



4o8 



ORGANIZATION OF GROUND COMBAT TROOPS 



the Tank Destroyer Center, the Armored Force and the Antiaircraft Command 
became inspecting agencies for Headquarters, Army Ground Forces." Officers 
of the three organizations — ^preferably general officers according to General Mc- 
Nair's intention — ^were to inspect units of their respective arms in the field 
armies or separate corps and to submit comments in the form of letters to be 
dispatched by Army Ground Forces to the tactical commanders concerned. The 
system did not work well at first; inspections were infrequent (except those of 
the Ajitiaircraft Command), or were conducted by junior officers, or turned into 
technical inspections of equipment, notably in the case of the Armored Force.^* 
Since armies would conduct their own technical inspections after reaching 
theaters of operations, General McNair wished them to do the same in training. 
A new directive was issued in August 1943, clarifying the aims of the inspections 
desired/" 

Throughout 1943 the functions of the special establishments remained gen- 
erally stabilized as described above. (See phart No.T|) However, activation and 
unit training became less important in practice because activation of combat 
units in the Ground Forces (except in the Field Artillery) virtually ceased with 
the revision of the Troop Basis in July 1943, Units produced and trained by the 
special establishments passed in increas ing numbers to the field forces for com- 
bined training, (See Tables Kos- i"4-) As time went on, the special establish- 



ments were less busy as unit training centers and proportionately more occupied 
with inspections and with the functions which they shared with the older arms — 
the perfection of equipment and doctrine, individual training, and administra- 
tion of personnel. 

Decline of the Special Establishments 

The first to feel the change was the Armored Force, which in June 1943 was 
redesignated the Armored Command.^ The new name, implying a greater 
degree of subordination, was an indication of a process long in development 



" AGF Itr to CGs, lo Dec 42, sub: Tng Inspections, AA, Armd, and TD Units. 333/82. 
^ AGF Itr to CGs AA Comd, Armd F, TDC, 21 Feb 43, sub as above. 333/82. 
'* Series of AGF M/Ss in 333/82 and 333.1/1504. 

'"^ AGF Itr to CGs, 22 Aug 43, sub: Tng Inspections, A A, Armd, and TD Units. 33 3.1/ 1504. 
" (i) AGF M/S (C), CG to CofS, 11 May 43, sub: Armd Force Rcorgn. (2) Memo (C) of Gen Lear 
for CofS USA, 14 May 43, sub as above. Both in 320.2/30 (Armd Center) (C). 



ORGANIZATION OF NEW COMBAT ELEMENTS 



409 



and still not finished* Contact between ofi&cers of the AGF staff and of the 
Armored Force became closer. Army Ground Forces began to cut down at 
Fort Knox what General McNair regarded as excessive overhead." It was at 
this time that the armored corps was abolished and the long discussions of the 
armored division were brought to an end. The training of armored divisions 
and of separate and armored infantry battalions was coordinated with the gen- 
eral Army Ground Forces training program.^** Army Ground Forces now pro- 
vided (what the Armored Force had provided before) week-by-week training 
programs and tests for armored units. They were modeled on the programs 
and tests which had been effective since November 1942 for other units of the 
ground arms. Armored artillery, a component of armored divisions, was required 
to meet all field artillery tests^ including the test for unobserved fires from which 
it had previously been exempted.^® Tests were also issued by Army Ground 
Forces for the improvement of tank gunnery.^ The Armored Command con- 
tinued to be responsible for the inspections and for the developmental and per- 
sonnel functions performed by the Armored Force. 

In February 1944, after some months of planning, the armored and tank 
destroyer establishments were eliminated from the chain of tactical command.'^ 
(See [Chart No. 2.D However, because of continuing difficulties in antiaircraft 



training and the need of liaison with the Army Air Forces, the Antiaircraft 
Command remained untouched. The Airborne Command was not greatly 
modified, never having developed as far as the other special establishments. Its 
designation was changed to the Airborne Center. The Parachute School was 
withdrawn from it and placed with other schools under the Replacement and 
School Command. During the activations of parachute regiments, the Parachute 
School had tended to become a unit training center; henceforth it operated in 
effect as a replacement training center, supplying individual parachutists as 
requisitioned by units. The Airborne Center continued to give airborne training 
to such units as might be attached to it for the purpose. The Airborne Center 
also reviewed the equipment, doctrine, tactics, and training literature of para- 

" AGF Itr (R) to Armd Comd, 21 Aug 43, sub: Revision of Almt of Pcrs to the Arcnd Comd. 320.2/77 
(ArmdF) (R). 

^ AGF Itr to CGs, 16 Aug 43, sub: Tng Directive Effective i Nov 42. 353/52 (Tng Dir). 
" AGF Itr to CGs. 29 Aug 43, sub: Revision of AGF FA and TD Tests. 353/5^ (Tng Dir). 
^"AGF Itr to GCs, 24 Nov 43, sub: Tng Directive Effective i Nov 42, 353/52 (Tng Dir). 
" AGF M/S (C). CG to CofS, 6 Dec 43, sub: Rcorgn of TDC, Armd Comd, and A/B Comd. 320.2/100 
(AB) (C). 



410 



ORGANIZATION OF GROUND COMBAT TROOPS 



chute and airborne units, and acted as the agency of the Army Ground Forces 
in dealing with the Troop Carrier Command of the Army Air Forces/^ 

The armored and tank destroyer organizations, which had been respectively 
the strongest and the weakest of the special establishments two years before, 
became identical in February 1944.^^ Both were placed under the Replacement 
and School Command, which, together with the Antiaircraft Command, re- 
mained the only developmental agency in the Ground Forces enjoying the status 
of a command. The Armored Command was redesignated the Armored Center. 
Only about thirty officers were allotted to it. About twenty officers were allotted 
to the Tank Destroyer Center. 

The Armored and Tank Destroyer Centers ceased to function in unit 
training. Each lost control of its service board. Both boards were placed, as were 
the boards of the older arms, directly under the Requirements Section of the 
Army Ground Forces General Staff. In plans drafted by the AGF staff it was 
at first proposed that the two Centers should lose control over their respective 
service schools and replacement installations as well. They would in this event 
have been left with no subordinate echelons at all. General McNair preferred 
that each center under the Replacement and School Command retain juris- 
diction over its service school and replacement center.^* On routine matters 
of training and assignment the Replacement and School Command bypassed 
the two Centers and dealt directly with the Armored School, Armored Replace- 
ment Training Center, Tank Destroyer School, and Tank Destroyer Replace- 
ment Training Center in the same way that it dealt with the schools and 
replacement centers of the older arms in which no Center intervened. On ques- 
tions of policy involving armored or tank destroyer affairs, the Replacement 
and School Command consulted the center concerned. 

In some matters the Armored and Tank Destroyer Centers retained a 
vestige of their old separate identity, reporting directly to Headquarters, Army 

"(i) AGFM/S (C)»CG to G-3, 4 Oct 43. 320,2/12 (AB) (C). (2) AGFM/S (C),CG to G-3, 23 Oct 
43, sub: A/B Comd. 320.2/12 (AB) (C). (3) WD D/F (C) 322 (7 Feb 44) to CG AGF, 11 Feb 44, sub: 
Rcdcsignation of A/B Comd. 320.2/101 (AB) (C). (4) AGF Itr (C) to CG A/B Comd, 22 Feb 44, sub: 
Rcorgn of A/B Comd. 320.2/100 (AB) (C). (5) AGF memo (S) for G-3 WD, 23 Feb 44, sub: Pcht Rcpl. 
330.2/1 13 (O'seas Repls) (S). 

" (i) AGF Itr (R) to CG Ar^id Comd, 13 Feb 44, sub: Rcorgn of Armd Comd. 320.2/87 (Armd 
Comd) (R), (2) AGF Itr (R) to CG TDC, 13 Feb 44, sub: Rcorgn of TDC. 320.2/34 (TDC) (R). (3) 
Papers in 320.2/12 (TDC) (S) and 320.2/100 (Armd Center) (C), 

•* AGF M/S (C), CG to CofS. 7 Jan 44. 320.2/100 (AB) (C). 



ORGANIZATION OF NEW COMBAT ELEMENTS 



411 



Ground Forces. They continued to inspect armored and tank destroyer units 
and to submit comments in the form of drafts of letters to be dispatched by Army 
Ground Forces to tactical commanders. They continued also to review and 
make recommendations on the tactics, doctrine, and training literature of their 
arms. 

After the reorganization of February 1944 the Army Ground Forces 
administered its armored, tank destroyer, and airborne elements in almost 
exactly the same way as it administered the older arms. All schooling and 
replacement training (except antiaircraft) were conducted through the Replace- 
ment and School Command, All service boards (except antiaircraft) were 
direct projections of the Requirements Section of the Ground Force headquar- 
ters staff. The AGF staff had always included officers responsible for training lit- 
erature, visual aids, review of doctrine and organization, and similar matters, for 
all the arms. For the armored, tank destroyer, and airborne "arms" they were 
assisted by oflScers at the three centers. AGF staff oflScers had always inspected 
units in the field and submitted reports in the form of comments to be incor- 
porated in letters to tactical commanders. For armored and tank destroyer 
units these officers were supplemented by others at the Armored and Tank De- 
stroyer Centers. The officers at the Armored and Tank Destroyer Centers were 
in effect Ground Force staff officers stationed in the field, with the additional 
role of advising the Replacement and School Command, which itself was hardly 
more than a large annex to Headquarters, Army Ground Forces. 

Organization for Combined Training 

In the best of circumstances the integration of the new forces into a tactics 
of combined arms would have presented an exceptionally difficult problem of 
training. The relative novelty of the new forces, together with the rapid change 
to which their doctrine and equipment were constantly subject, meant that 
higher commanders often did not understand how best to employ them in 
conjunction with other arms. Units trained initially in special branch establish- 
ments were in danger of acquiring a somewhat parochial outlook. Organization 
on a nondivisional basis or in divisions of special type (armored and airborne) 
meant that even after a unit passed to the field forces it might have infrequent 
contact with other elements of the Army. 

Moreover, until late in 1943 the circumstances were unfavorable. Prior to 
the reorganization of the armored divisions in September 1943 there were 



412 



ORGANIZATION OF GROUND COMBAT TROOPS 



never enough separate tank battalions for combined training with infantry 
divisions.^* Combined training of antiaircraft and airborne units was gravely 
handicapped by lack of airplanes." Shortages of equipment and manpower, 
common to all the ground arms, delayed the initial branch training of units, 
postponing the date at which such units could be assigned to tactical organiza- 
tions for combined training. Some units, especially antiaircraft, had to be 
hurriedly shipped overseas in the first year of hostilities, and even later, with no 
combined training at all.^' 

As a consequence, by the late summer of 1943, after the campaigns in North 
Africa and Sicily, it was generally agreed that combined training had been 
unsatisfactory. Antiaircraft artillery shot down friendly planes; airborne opera- 
tions were confused ; infantry and armored oflScers told AGF observers that their 
training in each other's operations had been wholly inadequate. Higher coni- 
manders and staffs showed inexperience in the planning and coordinating of 
operations, sometimes unnecessarily employing tanks, tank destroyers, or air- 
borne troops in inappropriate missions, or using them in such driblets that their 
effectiveness was lost.*® 

For combined training in the United States various means were at hand. 
One was simply to bring together, for lectures, discussions, and demonstrations, 
the commanders and staff ofl&cers of armies, corps, and divisions. Many such 
conferences were held: at the Tank Destroyer Center in 1942 for the initiation of 
higher commands in the newest antitank doctrines; at Fort Benning in 1942 for 
the exhibition of air support of ground troops; and again at Fort Benning in 
April 1944 to review and improve the teamwork of infantry, tanks, and artillery. 
These conferences, however realistically the demonstrations might simulate 
combat, and however thorough the explanations and discussions might be, 
were believed by General McNair to have only a limited value.^° Except for small 
selected units, the troops played no part; the assembled officers enlarged their 
knowledge but had no chance to practice it. 

" For the number of tank battalions in AGF see above j Table No. 3.| 

" (i) AGF memo (C), G-3 to CofS, 18 Jan 43, sub; Rpt of Inspection of A/B Installations. 353.03/7 
(AGF) (C). (3) AGF memo (S) for G-3 WD, 23 Jun 43, sub: Plans for A/B Tng for Balance of 1943. 
353/15 (AB) (S). (3) See AGF Historical Section, The Antiaircraft Command and Center. 

" See heWJ pp. J 2*1-26. 1 

" See rpts of AGF obsrs in 319-1 (Foreign Obsrs) (C) and (S). 

" See AGF Historical Section, The Procurement and Branch Distribution o£ Officers. 



ORGANIZATION OF NEW COMBAT ELEMENTS 



Another means was provided by the inspections of units in the field forces 
conducted by higher officers of the various special establishments, acting as 
representatives of Headquarters, Army Ground Forces. The system opened 
channels of understanding and information between tactical commanders and 
the agencies concerned with development, and it had the advantage of always 
functioning in reference to particular units which were actually passing through 
the combined phase of their training cycle. 

Maneuvers offered a third method. Maneuver areas, especially the Desert 
Training Center, were the schools in which higher commanders learned to 
handle complex forces under tactical conditions, and in which individual units 
obtained practical experience in meeting their responsibilities to other units and 
in turn received their support. For large operations, maneuvers were the closest 
approximation to combat. But there were disadvantages: an individual or unit 
could not correct mistakes immediately or drill repeatedly in weak points; live 
ammunition was generally not used ; and the maneuver period was short. 

A fourth means of combined training, for which none of the others was an 
adequate substitute, was the close and habitual association of special-type units 
in larger units of combined arms. The division was the primary combined-arms 
unit, but none of the units here under discussion was organic in the standard 
division. The problem was, therefore, essentially a problem in the organization 
of army and corps. 

In August 1942 General McNair directed the Plans Section of his stafF to 
draft a scheme for the attachment of nondivisional tank battalions to armies and 
corps for combined training. The scheme was broadened to include tank de- 
stroyer battalions, antiaircraft units, and nondivisional field artillery. "Non- 
divisional units," observed the Plans Section, "should be distributed so as to place 
all types at or near every division. They can then be used by one or more divisions 
in combined training. The supporting units should be available to each division 
about five months after activation of the division." *° This seemingly obvious 
arrangement had to be dismissed except as an ideal aim. The stationing of a 
unit depended on many considerations other than convenience of combined 
training — on place of activation, imminence of overseas shipment, railroad 
facilities, housing accommodations, and other factors. In practice, as mobiliza- 
tion developed, no one could anticipate how far a division would have progressed 

" (1) Memo (S) of Col Winn for Gen McNair, 2 Oct 42. sub: Revision of AGF Comd Orgn. With 
related papers. 320,2/493 (S). (2) See AGF Plans Sec files 154 (S) and 320.2/167 (R)., 



4M 



ORGANIZATION OF GROUND COMBAT TROOPS 



in its training five months after activation. In any case the matter was of little 
practical urgency in 1942, since most units of the types in question either were 
still undergoing branch training in their respective special establishments or were 
shipped overseas before combined training could be given. 

In March 1943, with an increasing number of units graduating from their 
special establishments, General McNair again raised the question of their com- 
bined training. A difficulty peculiar to the newer arms was that their units had 
to be trained not only for close combined operations with divisions but also for 
mass action with other units of their own type. The higher commander must 
be left free to disperse or assemble such units at will — to attach them locally to 
divisions or to gather them for a unified blow. To neglect combined training 
with divisions would be bad — so bad that Brig. Gen, John M. Lentz, AGF G-3, 
came to doubt the wisdom of the nondivisional organization. But to neglect the 
possibility of concentrated action of mobile forces would be to ignore one of the 
main lessons of the war. General McNair had in mind not only the comparatively 
small actions hitherto engaged in by American ground forces but also the needs 
of an ultimate major offensive. He repeated his fundamental conceptions in 
a note for General Lentz dated 10 March 1943:*^ 

It appears that the question is arising more or less generally as to the policy in assigning 
and training TD — also AA — battalions and groups after they leave the training centers and 
before they go overseas. 

The underlying principle, it seems to me, is that such units organically are a pool from 
which tactical needs can be met where and when they arise. Since such flexibility of employ- 
ment may and probably will require massed employment of battalions and groups, it follows 
that such employment must be included in training as a primary requisite. 

The foregoing . . , must not preclude the close association of battalions, and perhaps 
groups, with divisions for combined training. It must not be overlooked, however, that the 
permanent attachment of battalions to divisions will prevent training in massed employment, 
hence is inadvisable. It is deemed far preferable — in fact, imperative — that the battalions be 
trained together most of the time, and that combined training with divisions be arranged as 
appropriate according to what the division is doing. It is not too frequently that division 
training will lend itself to combined training with TD and AA battalions. 

These views were embodied in a directive to commanders of armies and separate 
corps in the Army Ground Forces, dated i April 1943, governing the advanced 
training not only of tank destroyer and antiaircraft battalions but also of non- 

" AGF M/S, CG to G-3, lo Mar 43. 353.02/103 (AGF). 



ORGANIZATION OF NEW COMBAT ELEMENTS 



4^5 



divisional tank battalions, to which the same principles applied," The directive 
was largely anticipatory in nature, since the number of tank and antiaircraft 
battalions available for assignment to higher tactical commands in the Ground 
Forces continued to be small. Tank destroyer battalions were available in larger 
numbers. 

A new army and corps organization, after a year of preparation at AGF 
headquarters, was announced in July 1943." The "type" army and "type" corps 
disappeared. Armies and corps were henceforth to consist of such divisions and 
other units as might be assigned for specific purposes. The army remained both 
tactical and administrative. The corps became primarily a fighting organization. 
Service troops formerly assigned to corps were transferred to armies. Combat 
troops formerly assigned to armies were transferred to corps.** At the same 
time, with the abolition of the armored corps, there remained only one kind of 
corps. The corps commanders became the ofi&cers immediately responsible for 
the combined training of armored divisions with infantry divisions, and of all 
types of nondivisional combat units with both armored and infantry divisions. 
The corps, in training as in combat, was supposed to be a balanced force in 
which a variable number of divisions was supported by appropriate proportions 
of field artillery, mechanized cavalry, combat engineers, tanks, tank destroyers, 
and antiaircraft xmits, all organized flexibly in battalions and groups. 

Not until some months after announcement of the new organization were 
enough units of all types available to implement it. In the fall of 1943 antiaircraft 
units for the first time became available in significant numbers for combined 
training with other elements of the Army Ground Forces. It was also in the 
fall of 1943, with the reorganization of the armored divisions, that the Army 
Ground Forces for the first time obtained separate tank battalions in numbers 
approximately equivalent to the number of infantry divisions, making it possible 
to pair battalions and infantry divisions for combined training. At the same 
time the last of the armored divisions completed their initial organization and 
training under the Armored Command, and the last of the tank destroyer 
battalions passed through the Advance Unit Training Center at Camp Hood. 

" AGF Itr to GSs, i Apr 43, sub: Asgmt and Tng of Gp Hq and Bns of Tk, TD, and AAA. 353/2209. 

" AGF Itr (R) to CGs, 21 Jul 43, sub: Orientation with Reference to Revised Orgn, 320.2/242 (R). 
(i) AGF Itr (C) to CGs, 5 Aug 43, sub: Asgmt of Combat Units to Corps. 320.2/300 (C). (2) AGF 
Itr (R) to CGs, 29 Oct 43, sub: Asgmt of Combat-type Units. 320.2/267 (R). (3) See AGF Historical Section, 
Problems of Nondivisional Training in the Army Ground Forces. 



4l6 ORGANIZATION OF GROUND COMBAT TROOPS 



The net effect is apparent in Tables Nos. 1-4 abovej showing the assignment 



of armored, tank destroyer, and antiaircraft units at successive dates in the his- 
tory of the Army Ground Forces. The tendency is clear in the physical massing 
of the figures in each table from upper left to lower right. There is a kind of 
natural history to which each type of unit conforms with variations: first, a 
period of concentration under the special training establishments; second, a 
period in which assignment to armies was common; and third, a period of dis- 
tribution among corps. For reasons already made clear, the second period 
precedes the first in the case of the tank destroyers. In general, the third period 
was not clearly present untU 1944, by which time the armored and tank destroyer 
unit training centers were closed down and units were widely distributed to 
the corps still remaining in the Army Ground Forces. 

Combined training improved toward the close of 1943, both because of the 
new organization and because equipment and ammunition had become some- 
what less scarce. Special considerations affecting the antiaircraft and tank de- 
stroyer arms are set forth below. Of the mechanized weapons, the principal one 
was the tank. 

An AGF directive of 16 October 1943 outlined the duties of corps com- 
manders in combined training of tanks with infantry.*** Shortcomings ob- 
served in both maneuvers and combat were summarized: tanks had failed to 
give full fire support to infantry advancing in front, or had been used as sta- 
tionary "pill boxes," or had been committed without proper support by other 
arms; and infantry had failed to engage antitank guns, or to follow tanks closely, 
or to consolidate gains. Each corps commander was instructed to have tank 
battalions train with infantry divisions in both the combined-training and the 
post-maneuver phases of the divisional cycle. In maneuvers each infantry divi- 
sion was to have one or more tank battalions in support. The Armored Com- 
mand in February 1944, on the basis of its inspections, declared that attachment 
of tank battalions to infantry divisions was not receiving enough emphasis, and 
recommended a confere